I’ve started doing CGs for that part of the story. Please look forward to ESR in 2015!
Graph here. So, here’s my plan for my part in ESR for the next few months.
I decided not to try imitating the style of my old art when finishing up the remaining Event CGs. I consider this project a training exercise of sorts for myself, and using all the tricks I’ve learned in the past few years makes for the best practice, rather than going back to a style I probably won’t use again.
If I’ve got time at the end– and there probably will be a good deal of testing and QC to do after the writing deadline in June– I’ll redo the old character art, and perhaps the first round of CGs. Otherwise, we’ll make do with what we’ve got. I’m sure you guys will agree that this has gone on long enough!
I’ve also decided to upgrade the screen resolution of the game to 1280×720. Just small enough to let us use some of the old art if we need to. Have a taste!
So! What have we done with the last year or so?
Mostly suffered at our various jobs. As the staff has expanded and (mostly) contracted our time to work on the project has suffered as anyone still following us probably knows. However, we haven’t been completely idle. After a long suffering, we completed the first route, the Alice route. It’s not 100%, since we have some fillers and a whole lot of editing to do, but the lines are done and the plot is something we’re happy with. And that’s honestly the hardest part when it comes to work.
Now were focusing on the other four routes. There’s a lot to go there, but with Alice filled in, we’ve got a lot to work with. In fact we’ve got enough to work with that I’m going to give an actual deadline. We’ll be done with the major path routes at the end of June.
What will that mean for the game itself? Sadly we’ll still have a lot of work to do then, just like we have a lot of work to do for Alice still. But it will be editing, coding and polishing work, not creative writing work. Stay tuned to hear from us then, because we’ll be looking into getting more outside help to get us through the final stretch.
Until then, we’ll keep pounding away at our keyboards. November’s probably going to be a wash, (oh hi NaNoWriMo) but LTalon and I will keep moving forward no matter what. I hope to be posting again here with good news as soon as I can.
The character sprites for this Chapter are done now! Admittedly I’ve been pretty lazy since the start of the year, and this should’ve been done weeks ago. I’m planning to kick things into high gear for the next phase, Chapter 3′s battle scene.
I’ll have new mecha art trickle into the Twitter account over the next few weeks. Look forward to it!
This update is somewhat late, so the first thing I want to state is we haven’t given up on the project. It’s still moving along, and while we’ve had our problems with jobs and other real life events slowing things down, we’re still doing our best to finish things. So you don’t need to panic about us quitting.
When we started making ESR we had six writers and four artists. Most of us were in college. Now we have one artist and two writers, and all of us are doing various work. The change has slowed us a great deal. Now that we’re all settling into our lives we’re getting a lot more actual writing done. I personally am trying to get 15000 words a month into ESR and LT is keeping apace despite his schedule. Still we can’t keep up the same level of writing we used to, much less meet what we’d originally planned.
To be fair, our original plans were terribly unrealistic. We wanted six plots with ten endings, AND four subplots on top of that, in a open enviroment where players could interact with characters in any order. That didn’t work even with our original team, so we cut down the script and made it less open ended.
Now that we’re here near the end with so much more to go before our script pieces become a game, it’s obvious that our cuts just weren’t enough. So while it’s painful, we’re going to take a knife to a lot of our original ideas, including some of the ones that appeared in the demos.
So what’s on the cutting room floor? Probably the entire Youmu subplot. It just didn’t fit well, and honestly many other doujin writers have done it better. We also had a ridiculously complex finale for the Gensoukyo 5 planned out… and I’m sure Graph will be happy that we’re making it less insane. The Harem route is dead. Sorry. And I expect a lot of unneeded detail work is going to get sliced away.
On the other hand our drive to keep moving is also giving us some new ideas we’re looking forward to writing down. Getting events to chain nicely into each other is something of an art, and we’re putting what we learned on the project earlier to good use in that field.
Hopefully out of this massacre and rebirth of ideas we can get a set of good solid endings that we can use to transform our game from a lot of scripts into a game that you’ll all enjoy. When will that be? Given how far 15000 words goes in our endings, I’m not sure I can give a good estimate still. Especially since we’re still considering what should be cut for brevity and what we need to keep the game amusing and consistent. I know that’s not really inspiring, but it’s the best I can give.
Graph’s still going to be putting out Touhou Mecha, which you all should read, and we’re going to keep working away at this project. I admit to being tempted to quit, but the good friends I have on the dev team keep bringing me back. I’m sure all our staff feel the same way. We’re gonna keep scripting words, and hopefully someday soon we’ll have more upbeat news to give.
“DSD was on Twitter”, you ask? Yes, though we barely used it. It’s listed under daisukimadan.
I’m looking to change that by posting smaller, more frequent updates on Touhou Mecha using that account. Major progress updates will still be posted on the blog, and linked to from the Twitter account.
I don’t know if ESR will be updating frequently enough to use the Twitter format, but rest assured you’ll be hearing a progress report on that over the holidays.
Anyway, it’s been a slow first month for Chapter 3, but I’ve been plugging away at the sprites for the latest cast additions. With that, it’s time for me to get back to work!
Select CGs from Chapter 2 of Touhou Mecha have been posted to my DA gallery here. Included are a few in larger size, and others that are only seen in-game briefly!
With that business out of the way, we can start working on Chapter 3. And with any luck we can get a more detailed status update on ESR up soon!
Hello, this is Graph, taking it easy after one of the crazier beta test sessions of Touhou Mecha so far!
Having let one too many self-imposed deadlines pass by, I decided to draw the Chapter Select image featured in our previous post during beta testing. Around this time my tablet died, due to taking too much damage to the cord over time. It was a Wacom Intuos3 that’s served me for about 7 years… R.I.P.
I used my brother’s tablet to do the last stretch, which took quite a bit of getting used to since it was 1/4th the size and had a different, rougher surface. I ended up spending over 30 hours on that one image! Though part of it was other factors, like doing 3 full-body shots, and not being that used to having light sources from the side.
Switching gears, originally we intended to release Chapter 2 without any new music. That would be because OverCoat became pretty busy with RL stuff for a while, so I didn’t bug him about the soundtrack much this round. Well, guess who shows up at the absolute last minute, after the beta testers have given their feedback and I’m hours away from finishing the last image?!
The new song is pretty neat though! There’s also an alternate version of one of the Chapter 1 songs that plays as a theme for Parsia, but that was actually composed pretty early on and I somehow forgot to add it.
Speaking of music, OverCoat has released his work on the Touhou Mecha OST on Bandicamp as a free download! You can check that out over here.
Moving forward, before starting on Chapter 3 proper I’d better map out the plot for the rest of Hell’s Rising. I had a rough idea of where it’s going from the start, but by now several mysterious elements have appeared in the story. And I should make sure that all the questions that need to be answered, get answered.
And with that, see you all next update!
Hello all, it’s Graph! We at DSD are proud to present Chapter 2 of Touhou Mecha, which adds Chapter 2 and the related Extras! Among other bells and whistles, we tried out a different, more fast-paced type of battle scene this time around. Enjoy!
Touhou Mecha uses DirectX. If the VN doesn’t display visuals correctly for you, check the graphics acceleration note on the downloads page!
The beta test session for Chapter 2 of Touhou Mecha has started. Our thanks go out to everyone who applied! If things go smoothly, I think we’ll be releasing this one around the end of the week.