Sunday, August 14, 2016

Progress Update and V0.05 Announcement!

Hey everyone!

We're aiming to release V0.05 of Malise and the Machine on September 10!

This means that Patreon pledges will be processed at the end of August / beginning of September.  This will be the last update before we switch over to the new campaign model (unless Patreon for some reason hasn't rolled out the instant charge feature for all creators yet).  This will likely occur sometime in October.

Progress Update

Work on V0.05 is going great, and all of our work is surpassing the quality I could've expected.  Naturally, we'll be down to the wire as far as getting in everything we want to, but at this point I'm pretty sure that's the price for pushing our creative limits.  Here's a quick rundown of the major accomplishments since the last post:

  • We released an interim build for Inner Circle patrons on August 3 that contains a preview of Neon's new outfit in action and AltairPL's map overhaul framework.  We received a few bug reports that we've fixed, but nothing major, which is pretty outstanding considering the entire map engine was ripped out and rewritten.
  • As mentioned above, we have the mechanics for changing outfit types in place, along with most of the necessary UI edits.
  • I have a total of 87 portraits for Neon's new outfit completed, as well as the map sprites.  I think this is a testament to our workflow / organization / software optimizations because I don't think I could have done this previously in this amount of time.  I still have quite a few to go, by the way.
  • I have quite a bit of artwork done for a new story H scene, but still have a ways to go.
  • TK's 3D map editor is functioning and he is beginning to put out some great results with it.  He's recreated the Access Tunnels Entrance map as the first true test, and while we still have some kinks to work out and a couple of features to add, it's a proof of concept that we'll be able to create more visually interesting maps that maintain the original style in much less time than it took me to process and assemble the old ones by hand.
  • AltairPL's map overhaul now has all of the major features working, including a lot of features that will make creating map events easier for us.  As it turns out, the overhaul came at the perfect time because it would have been nearly impossible to do what we are doing with TK's map editor without some of the major internal changes.  If you're curious about the performance boost, my mid-high end machine went from 70 FPS to 110 FPS on the map (with the 60 FPS limit off mind you... note that if you had really good performance before the overhaul it will be less mind blowing, but a big part of it is that it gives us more room to do crazy stuff in the future).

We're basically on track toward accomplishing everything we set out to for V0.05!  Probably more than any other release this one will resemble an iceberg in that what you see is a small fraction of the work done to improve future releases.  Expect a more detailed list of all the features (front and back-end) once we get closer to the release, but in the meantime feel free to ask any questions!

Lastly, I want to mention that we got a lot of interest in the community manager position I mentioned awhile back, and I want to thank everyone that took the time to talk to me.  I decided it's best for us to get a feel of how the community environment and task requirements will change once we move to the new campaign model before bringing someone on, since part of the goal of the new campaign model is to reduce workload related to distributing rewards.  It's likely that the position will more heavily involve promotional work because recently there's been zero effort going into promoting the game due to effort going toward development.

That's it for now, and thanks again for your continued interest!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

V0.05 Progress Update #2

Hey everyone!

Progress is going smoothly for V0.05, and I wanted to briefly stop in to tell you where we're at with things!

Eromancer: Artwork Progress

All 45 general poses/variations for Neon's new outfit battle portraits were wrapped up earlier this month!  I've taken a break from the new outfit artwork and am working on a story H scene currently.  It's gone a little slower than expected but I'm continuously trying to improve the possibilities I can manage with this artwork style, and I'm happy with the results so far.  

AltairPL: Map Overhaul Progress

I got to test out the latest version of AltairPL's map overhaul just yesterday and the performance improvements were pretty incredible.  In V0.043 I would get about 70 FPS standing around in the Access Tunnels B5 hub map (with the FPS cap raised).  In the version with the map overhaul implemented, I got 110 FPS.

The biggest objective of the overhaul however is to simplify map creation, and it's going great in that aspect as well.  AltairPL recently finished up remapping all of the maps in the map editor with his new system for marking passages and collision detection.  His new system allows for more elevation layers on a map, makes it easier to mark traversable/nontraversable areas, and allows for us to do so on our new maps (which completely utilize parallax mapping as opposed to tilemapping).  In addition, he's been able to considerably reduce the number of events required for standard things like opening chests / doors / traversing between maps and so on.

TK: 3D Map Editor Progress

 TK's map editor is now preeeeetty much at the point where we can replicate the results of the overhead map process I've been using up to this point.  Of course, the important thing is that we can do in about 30 seconds what took hours of busy work previously.   I've provided below a set of renders from a very basic (and still janky) test map TK has set up.  The final image in the set is a processed composite of the previous renders.  Note that there are obvious errors still, but it's just for test purposes.  It's convincing enough that I've included another screenshot from a different angle just to show this is really from the 3D editor :D.  


Of course, replicating what we could do with our previous map creation process isn't good enough, so soon we'll be looking at ways in which we can create standardized ways to improve the results and make even better maps.  

That's about it for now!  Sorry there isn't more I can show, but yeah, spoilers and stuff :D.  Till next time!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Patreon Campaign Changes - Survey Results

Hey everyone!

If you remember I posted a survey recently asking for your opinions on the proposed Patreon campaign format changes. If you missed the post, you can check it out here. I also posted a survey on Patreon asking for patrons' feedback to gauge whether or not they think we should make the changes.

You can find the results of the surveys below:

1. Patron Survey Results
2. Non Patron Survey Results

The patron survey results speak for themselves, with nearly 90% of those that responded recommending we change our campaign format to monthly (with the reduced pledge tier costs) + add the charge up front feature.

The non patron survey results take a bit more analyzing. Basically, approximately half of the non patrons that responded said they would be more likely to pledge to the campaign if it was in the monthly format with the reduced pledge costs. Though the sample size is small, it's a very promising result since very few answered that they were less likely to pledge due to the proposed changes. What this says is that for every 20 non patrons that check out the project, approximately 10 will be more likely to pledge because of these changes, and approximately only 1 will be less likely.

As it stands and due to the highly positive feedback, we've decided that we will be making the proposed changes starting sometime after the V0.05 release. This means that starting sometime after the V0.05 release all pledge tier costs will be significantly reduced and we will be moving to the monthly payment format. These changes will, we feel, not only benefit existing patrons in the long run, but will be especially beneficial for new patrons, as they will be able to retrieve their digital rewards instantly upon pledging.

Thanks again for all the feedback guys!

- Eromancer

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Proposal for Major Patreon Campaign Changes! Need Feedback!

Hey guys!

So, due to an initial favorable response from patrons, I wanted to get some feedback from you. We're currently considering some major changes to the Patreon campaign structure in an effort to simplify the process for new patrons, attract new patrons, and to remove some of my campaign related workload in order to give me more time to work on development related things.

Patreon is rolling out a feature called "Charge Up Front", which will allow us to utilize the Patreon feed for all releases. This would greatly simplify our release process, allow patrons instant access to their digital rewards, and also be much more intuitive for new patrons. Unfortunately, this feature is only available to (the vastly more popular) monthly campaigns, so it caused us to reconsider whether we could give the same or better experience to our patrons while benefiting from this new feature.

To accomplish this, we would significantly change the pricing for pledge rewards. This would drastically lower the initial price point for new patrons to check out what we are offering, and is something we feel could attract people that were scared off by the relatively high pledge requirements (especially those that hadn't seen a 'pledge per creation' campaign and mistook the reward prices for a monthly cost).

Here are the proposed changes:

  • The $1 reward (Patreon feed access) would change to $1 per month, and remain the same.
  • The $10 reward (access to the latest game version) would become $3 per month. We may not have a major release every month, but we certainly would not have them more than three months apart. On months that we don't have a major release ready, we would have a significant Patreon update showing off content from the upcoming release. The bottom line is that patrons pledging at the $10 tier or greater now wouldn’t be penalized by the new model.
  • The $15 reward (Artwork PDF) would change to $5 per month.
  • The $45 reward (Inner Circle access) would change to $10 a month.
  • The print rewards would be consolidated down to two. $40 a month for US patrons and $50 a month for international patrons. These can't change more due to the cost of printing and shipping, however these rewards would also include Inner Circle access, making them equivalent to the current $70 and $80 tiers.

For further reference, you can see the full descriptions and pledge reward list as it currently stands at (on the right side of the screen).

We're interested in obtaining feedback from those currently not pledging to see if these proposed changes would make you reconsider supporting the project. To do that I've made a very brief anonymous survey (two questions, multiple choice) that you can find below.

Click here to take the survey!

Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

Now, discuss!

Monday, June 27, 2016

V0.05 Progress Update!

Hey everyone!

It's been awhile since there was a legitimate progress update, so the following is my effort to hit the important points of the past month or so without making you read a novel about it.

EDIT: Just kidding, it turned out to be a novel anyways.

Spring Cleaning Complete!

Well, it's summer technically, but as I think I mentioned in the previous post I was making a huge effort for the first few weeks after we put out the last patch to put optimizations ideas into effect that had been stacking up for awhile. This is especially important since TK was coming on board full time and it'd only make sense to reorganize things before teaching him processes and such.

  • We now have complete cloud integration, meaning TK and I share all of the art related files and 3D libraries and receive updates to each other's work in (nearly) real time. It took over a week to upload and sync all of the necessary files.
  • We've moved to a new chat client for development. We're all a bit meh about it, but overall it's better for working with a team than what we had previously.
  • I've personally updated Photoshop from CS 5.1 to CC so TK and I are running on the newest version (and so that I could get the last 6 years of updates). Definitely worth it.
  • I heavily upgraded my internet connection to remedy my super slow upload speeds (would've been nice to have during the V0.04 patching debacle... and for the aforementioned cloud integration).
  • I redid my laptop's OS install entirely (a nightmare by the way since I "downgraded" Win 8.1 to 7 and the laptop has a really weird hybrid SSD hard drive configuration, meaning I had to HIGHLY customize the Win 7 install in order to fit the OS on the SSD partition), with the result being that I now have two rendering rigs that basically share the same file system due to the aforementioned cloud integration.
  • I redid my entire desktop workstation's layout, bought a bigger desk to mount the laptop on, recycled a bunch of old PCs / hardware / sold music equipment and generally improved my cramped living conditions (I live and work in a 9'x13' room, basically). I also added a hefty UPS battery backup so I don’t have to worry about severe weather or hardware damage / data loss from power outages.
  • TK and I found a solution for customizing CPU priority in our rendering engine of choice. This means we can actually work on other stuff while things are rendering instead of the system being completely locked down by an overzealous rendering engine hogging resources.
  • I did at least a week's worth of massive cleaning and much needed reorganization of all the game development files (nearly 200 GB worth).
  • We added a private forum for Inner Circle members so that there can be actual discussion and feedback on topics instead of one way presentation of content.
  • TK introduced me to Pinterest, which we will now be using for easily stashing and visually referring to links to licensable 3D assets, reference art, and relevant game development techniques/tutorials. The idea is that over time we will accumulate a shared library of potential assets / concepts that we can quickly refer back to.
  • I upgraded my phone all the way from iOS 6 to iOS 9 so that I can actually be productive when away from my workstation. Apps now work, and it's pretty glorious.
  • I now have Maya (a popular 3D development program), and now I need to learn to use it… this leads to the next topic.

TK's Map Editor

When TK came on full time he proposed a map editor that should drastically increase our efficiency when it comes to making the overhead retro JRPG style maps.

Our current method is to make 2D tilesets, build the maps in RPG Maker’s editor using these tilesets, and then export images of these maps to be edited in Photoshop. This is highly time consuming and labor intensive since a lot of elements such as shadows have to be placed by hand.

TK’s idea is to use a heavily customized UI in Maya with scripts designed for our workflow needs to remove the need to make 2D tilesets entirely. Instead, the entire tilemap can be built in Maya, and in theory we should also be able to make the maps at a higher quality and seem less repetitive. The results should look comparable to the sideview maps and battle backgrounds, which are done entirely in 3D with relatively easy 2D post in Photoshop.

Some of the major hurdles he’s overcome so far include learning the process for map creation so as to improve upon it, finding and implementing plugins and write additionally required UI scripts for Maya, and replicating our 3D shaders for the rendering engine we plan to use with Maya (shaders are programs used to get the basis for the unique MATM aesthetic when rendering the 3D models).

Assuming it all works out (which at this point it looks like it should), the amount of time saved over the course of the project will be huge, and we should end up with higher quality maps to boot. Naturally, I haven’t used Maya before (I’m a Blender guy… not really by choice, but it’s what I had available and thus stuck with), so TK also will be teaching me the basics of navigating Maya so I can actually use the new map editor.

Here’s a small gallery showcasing his work in replicating the MATM look in the new rendering engine:

AltairPL's Map Overhaul

TK’s map editor is an idea that comes at a good time, as AltairPL has been progressing steadily with his map overhaul, the goal of which is to not only enhance performance but also simplify the map and event making process. He’s written up a super high level description of some of the stuff he's already accomplished. He also included a really impressive summary of the FPS gains he's managed so far.

  • Basic optimizations of maps and characters [performance]
  • Added basic (for now) customization of map events, which allows easier creation of more advanced and dynamic events [functionality]
  • Allowed for RPGMaker’s tilemap structure (which is no longer even necessary for our maps) to be removed entirely, freeing up a ton of processing power on overhead maps [performance]
  • Removed a lot of the map-oriented 3rd part scripts and have begun replacing their functionality with more case appropriate code [performance].
  • Changed how map events are handled, which cuts number of needed events considerably [performance]
  • Added map data preprocessing, which greatly improves access time to map data in game [performance]
  • Changed how map data is created and edited, which greatly improves map configuration time and minimizes the chance of an error (invisible wall, walking in the air, etc.) [functionality]

Sample of map performance change for some of the Access Tunnels maps (in FPS using AltairPL’s PC for testing) - not everything is implemented, so these values may change (both ways):

  • B5 Hub: 56 => 78
  • B5 West 1: 45 => 63
  • B6 Hub: 55 => 84
  • B6 Puzzle: 60 => 93

Neon's 2nd Outfit

The boobs are loose!

I just spent the last few days working on armor damage for Neon’s new outfit.  The idea was to do it entirely in 3D if possible so that the very time consuming manual painting wouldn't be required like it is on Malise's.  As I've mentioned before however, getting the hentai-esque details we want is a really tough task in 3D since the models still have to remain highly poseable.  Suffice to say, it’s been accomplished and looks great.

I’m also roughly halfway through the general combat poses for the outfit. Once finished there will be about 45 total variations on the 9 base poses, since armor damage on this outfit happens in such a way that a few more variations are required.

Here’s a small preview, including a before and after GIF that shows the new post processing I’ve begun using that features more vibrant colors and improved shading:

That's about it for now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Patreon Survey #1 Results!

Hey guys!

Earlier this month we posted a survey on Patreon with 11 questions designed to learn more about our audience, as well as to get feedback on certain key topics about the game. The survey was for patrons only, however we ended up getting nearly 500 responses and some valuable data. I figured I'd show the results from that survey along with our interpretation of the data.

The results are highly favorable overall, and show that a lot of issues people had with the early versions have pretty much been taken care of. I'll go ahead and present my thoughts on the results question by question, along with some of my reasoning for asking the question in the first place.

Question 1 :

What's Question #1 tell us?

This question was asked to get a grasp on where the audience was coming from. I wanted to know if the people giving feedback were more or less likely to have a knowledge of modern games outside the H genere or if their experience was more isolated to adult games. Obviously, they do! Except for dat one guy.

Question 2:

What's Question #2 tell us?

This adds some more detail to the last question. This question tells me that while a majority of the patrons played and enjoyed some of the classics that this game is based on, a pretty surprising percentage did not. While it doesn't isolate a whole lot, it does suggest that some of the retro gameplay concepts that made the above games super charming (and nostalgic for many of us) could be entirely new to a significant number of the patrons. Not all of these concepts aged well, and it's possible that people who enjoyed these retro titles will find them more appealing than others.

Question 3:

What's Question #3 tell us?

This was mainly out of curiosity. We plan on supporting these equally and making adjustments for each to make them fun. The results however are significantly different than we had guessed. We all figured a lot more people would use 'No Wait'.

Question 4:

What's Question #4 tell us?

This suggests to me that we've zeroed on in a pretty solid sweet spot for difficulty. Granted, it's definitely going to sway back and forth as development progresses, but now we have an idea of what it should feel like. I'm not particularly concerned with the absolute difficulty as much as "is difficulty or a lack of difficulty settings hindering the player's experience?" I feel that's true for those who answered 'Too Easy' or 'Too Difficult'. You'll see however there's a question below that I think could remedy the rather high % of 'Too Difficult' responses. Note that just because of this favorable response it doesn't mean we won't consider adding more difficulty related options in the future.

Question 5:

What's Question #5 tell us?

This is probably the most significant question of the survey for us, as it says what I suspected but wanted some confirmation on. I'd prefer for the teal color to be a lot bigger and the green and yellow to go away. That said, it's tough to isolate a reason for this right now, and it's definitely too soon to jump to conclusions about the overall design of the battle system (which I think that some players may be inclined to do). The good thing is, I believe there are a lot of ways that this can be remedied, and probably through relatively small changes. I'd really like to hear your input on this one! Just remember to consider small changes before big ones.

Question 6:

What's Question #6 tell us?

I'm pretty happy with this result. I'm personally in the green category, as I more than anyone would like to be able to push more content out faster. In fact, we will have to. Of course, this is simply a limitation of resources. It's a bit of a catch 22 in that the faster we put out releases, the more members we can add to the team. On the flip side, we need the members to quickly push out enough content to keep patrons satisfied. A secondary issue is that we simply need leads for talented developers, and a lot of quality developers aren't going to want to work on hardcore adult material for the amount of money we can pay them (just a reminder that we are working for way less than a developer at any normal game studio would). AltairPL and I work anywhere from probably 10-19 hours a day 7 days a week, and are both very motivated, so hopefully the addition of TK as a full time member will be the first step to improving development speed (it's going great so far by the way). We also have a lot of areas (specifically with art) where workflow optimization can still happen, and TK is already proving to be a second set of eyes that can critique my workflow and offer better solutions. There'a also the factor where as engine development finishes, it will free up time for more content related work for both of us (AltairPL will likely shift to spending more time adding events for the game, and I can concentrate more on art). Granted, we still have some distance to go on that front.

On the topic of adding team members, I think the next position we need filled is something I'll call a "community manager". At this point, I probably spend as much time handling community stuff and invoices / sending out rewards / etc. as I do on development, and that will likely only increase as we get more interest in the game. If you're motivated, trustworthy, have better social skills than a potato, hate your 9 to 5, are more interested in the project than in making bank right now, and want to have the opportunity to get in with what I think could eventually evolve into a successful adult game studio, let me know .

Question 7:

What's Question #7 tell us?

So, this wasn't quite what I expected. I guess what it does say is that I was aware of what the community was interested in, and even though the largest chunk is happy with the direction we've taken in V0.03 and V0.04 with regard to adding rounded out content, it's still pretty divided.

The main reason I asked this question was to get validation for what I want to add for V0.05. Really, it's more of what *we can* add, and I'm just seeking patrons' approval. AltairPL is knees deep in taking apart the map layer of the engine for the overhaul, which is naturally going to mean some work just to get back to where we were at once he's finished. To add to that, TK is hot on the trail of a great idea to revamp our map making process. He's basically started work on a 3D map editor in Maya, which we will then use to render out all maps similar to how the sideview maps are currently being done. There are a ton of theoretical benefits that I won't go into here (good topic for another post... with visuals), but the point is that I don't think it's a great idea to add new environments right now when they will likely just have to be overhauled soon. In addition, we really need to choose objectives so that I don't have to bug AltairPL while he works on the map engine overhaul. This of course goes against the (small) majority vote here, but my proposal is that the main objectives for the V0.05 development cycle be the following (in no particular order):

1. Map engine overhaul. Primary objective, no questions, this one has to be done sooner rather than later to minimize the work we have to redo later. Not only will it improve performance, it will make the process of making maps and events significantly faster.

2. Add Neon's second outfit and as much related artwork (and combat H stuff) as possible.

3. Cloud integration for development tools/assets and major software upgrades. As of today this is actually about wrapped up, as it is has been my major task for the past few weeks now.

4. Bring TK up to speed on as much as possible, and in doing so consider and implement as many workflow optimization solutions as possible.

5. Follow through with TK's new map editor idea.

6. Pull out the major puzzle area from V0.04 and replace it with more straightforward exploration. I'd potentially like to use this as an opportunity to create the replacement overhead maps using TK's new map editor system, assuming we get that far.

7. Add at least one new story H scene.

8. Anything else we can cram in that doesn't interfere with the map overhaul or create related work that we will need to redo later.

Let me know what you think!

Question 8:

What's Question #8 tell us?

While not critical, the number of 'Too Slow' responses is pretty high in my opinion. I'd like to find a solution for this that doesn't make characters look like they are cheetahs with respect to the environment scale. I personally think a small speed increase could be acceptable, but unfortunately RPG Maker only allows for really significant changes in speed, meaning it'd have to be customized.

Question 9:

What's Question #9 tell us?

This tells me that, pretty overwhelmingly, the issues patrons had with combat speed in the early versions of MATM are a thing of the past. For those that think it's too slow, I have a couple ideas. I think a portion of the significant % that think it is too fast may not have known about the Battle Time Mode option settings (see the next question).

Question 10:

What's Question #10 tell us?

The number of patrons that didn't know about this was surprising to us. We also think it could be a reason for the 15% of responders to Q9 that think combat is too fast, as well as the 11% of responders to Q3 that feel combat is too difficult. Perhaps this merits a tutorial message in future versions!

What's Question #11 tell us?

As for Question 11 (which asked if patrons had any further comments), about a third of responders left comments! There were a lot of great ideas, and a few requests kept appearing over and over. The most popular three are listed below, with some feedback.

1. Animated H scenes. This is something I'd love to do, and it's possible that we could do this for some special events, but there would be a whole mess of obstacles to overcome to manage it successfully in combat (not to mention we'd need more artists).

2. Group H content in battle. We have plans for this!

3. An H scene gallery (or alternative). This is also something we plan on doing, though we don't have details solidified yet.

Sorry for the novel, but hopefully this sparks some discussion!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Malise and the Machine V0.043 Release

Hey everyone!  

Big post here, but I want to mention up front that this is a free patched version that we are sending out today to everyone that received the original V0.04 release.  Please note that your saves from V0.042 should be compatible with this new version.

This updated release is intended to fix the issues that were present in V0.04 and serve as a solid foundation to begin work on V0.05.  Note that while we do intend to relocate the fuse puzzle to a different portion of the game where it can be better utilized, that won't occur until V0.05.  You will however see some improvements to it that will be present in its later form.  A previously unmentioned and somewhat significant addition however is an improvement to how "Wait" battle modes operate.  We've added a prototype system for a button (SHIFT on the keyboard) to pass time while using one of the three "wait" battle modes.  Simply hold the button/key during a character's turn and time will flow like normal.  This is to remedy the strategic issue with wait modes where timing can make it impossible to time an interrupt an enemy's attack, or even worse cause stun-locks with grapples due to an inability to break out of a grapple at an advantageous time.

Please see below for the full change log!

V0.043 Change Log

  • Fixed issue where some graphics would not appear if the RPG Maker VX Ace RTP was installed to a custom location.
  • Added a prototype "Pass Time" button/key (SHIFT on the keyboard) for the three "Wait" battle modes. Simply hold the button/key during a character's turn and time will flow like normal. This should remedy the strategic disadvantage caused by an inability to properly time interrupts and grapple breaks when using a "Wait" mode.
  • Improved Escape functionality for "Wait" battle modes. Time will now pass while the Escape button/key is held, meaning the player no longer has to select an action just to continue escaping.
  • Increased hit rate of Distracting Shot
  • Lowered evasion of Vorepups and Ven.
  • Malise's Dual Fire now correctly calculates hit results for each shot independently of each other.
  • Increased attack power of Malise's weapons.
  • Added something to each of the puzzle rooms that should make the area more navigable.
  • Made some dialog edits to fix some ambiguity with the story, as well as to clarify that the number beside fuse puzzle gates is the *minimum* current required and not the exact current required to unlock these gates.
  • Changed the fuse puzzle rewards that are left behind by a certain robot.
  • Lowered the cost of FuseBot's hints to one 5 Amp Fuse.
  • Added a more accessible Circuit Board to the puzzle area.
  • Increased the number of FuseBot's hints from 3 to 7 and improved their order/wording.  Also added small cutscenes to better show what is being referred to.
  • Added warning text when a trapped chest has been opened.
  • Errors involving sound files will no longer crash the game.
  • Added a dialog prompt with info when GFX/audio files are encountered that are missing. The prompt will only appear once per session.
  • Fixed experience bars showing incorrect values on the Save/Load screen.
  • Fixed Darkness state behavior on character death.
  • Fixed issue that would sometimes cause increased loading times.

Progress Update

After I finished my part on the patched version I went into cleaning mode, leaving AltairPL to handle the fun fixes.  For the past week or so I've been making a real effort to reorganize and clean out all the data related to the game.  This data includes 3D asset libraries, 3D scenes/project files, render libraries, Photoshop files, 2D graphics assets, music and sound effects, scripting resources and so on.  Even though it's a relatively simple 2D game, there are a lot of pretty advanced processes going into making the artwork and graphics, yielding nearly 200 GB of data (not including backups).  As the game's requirements are realized, the workflow and organizational structure of all the working data changes, and now is a good time to simplify and sort everything since TK is starting full time this week.  At the pinnacle of all this is the fact that  we're going to attempt to move to a cloud-based environment so that TK and I don't have to send multi-gig assets back and forth all day.  We're going to start testing possibilities later today, so hopefully that pans out.

Unfortunately, organizing and patching doesn't produce much content, so there isn't really much new to show off.   We are however beginning to plan for V0.05.

AltairPL's main goal for this cycle will be the the map overhaul.  It will potentially be the biggest task yet in terms of overhauling RPG Maker, but is important because it will significantly improve performance, allow for more events and complex map graphics, and possibly the most important is that it will dramatically simplify making maps with all of the features we've been adding over time that simply aren't available in RPG Maker.  Doing this now is important since it will no doubt require some reworking of current assets and significant map edits that I'll have to be involved with.  Basically, the sooner we knock it out the better.

As far as content for the next release goes, I have to sit down with TK and figure out what we want to tackle.  Bringing him up to speed is my main task, so having him working on things that I know he can learn quickly is important this time around.  There will definitely be at least one new story H scene that I've had planned, as well as the relocation of the fuse puzzle.  As far as the rest goes there are a few different possibilities that I'll sit on until I know which direction we're going.  I'll be sure to post an update though once things are more concrete!

As always, thank you for your continued support and feedback!

- Eromancer