Additionally, for each route we’ve added a few bonus outfits!
Hi folks, it’s about time I dropped a report on my progress too.
Pretty much done here, and also converted all the old backgrounds to the new 1280×720 screen resolution. Not only that, several backgrounds got a major overhaul. As one prime example, Hakurei shrine from the demo…
Harder to say since the script isn’t all in yet, but out of the stuff that’s currently there it’s like…
20% CGs from the demo need revising for the new screen res
20% others to do
Updated for the new screen res.
Danmaku + other effects
Old images updated for new screen res, haven’t done the new stuff yet. Not sure how far along it is yet, though I’ll probably get this done quickly at the end like I did before.
Haven’t touched it since the demo. I want to redraw the 5 heroines and Marisa fresh, and the others will probably just get quick edits at best, just because of the sheer size of the cast.
Alright, getting back to it. I’ll endeavor to post more regular updates when I get to the home stretch.
Thanks for all the words of support. It’s both encouraging (and a little terrifying) to see all the people still waiting on us. We’re doing our best to keep things moving along so that this will become a reality someday.
Anyways, since a lot of you fine people have offered us help with programming or money, I wanted to address that.
Programming wise we’re working in Ren’py, so 99% of our code is just Ren’py calls around text. The hardest part is keeping the labels straight and just getting all the info in. Mostly its just time consuming. Right now I think our programming side is well covered, but if life happens we’ll definitely reach out to you all in the community. Thanks.
Monetary support is a different matter. We’re really really humbled and thankful for the offers of financial support, but that’s something we can’t accept. ZUNs copyright rules specifically forbid us from asking for donations for this project, or making something like a kickstarter. He views (correctly in my mind) that crowdfunding isn’t really in the ‘doujin spirit.’ So we just can’t accept money for this project.
The other issue is money really wouldn’t help us finish faster. None of us are professional developers, so five, ten or even twenty thousand dollars wouldn’t really give us the kind of financial ability to just quit our jobs and work on this full time. I’m working on my own plans to be able to write full time, but if I become a published author before this is done I’ll be the luckiest man alive. LT is in a similar position.
Thank you again for all your support. If there is anything the community can do can get this game into your hands faster, we’ll be sure to let everyone know. For now simply knowing there are people still interested despite our failures at project management is heartening.
(LT Edit: To be perfectly clear, I’m not pursuing a career in writing. Not yet, anyway. Maybe if I’m struck by incredible inspiration someday. Until then, I think my life of salaryman-ness continues.)
So we missed the deadline I set for us. Entirely my fault too. I assumed we could keep at breakneck speed, but reality is a little more harsh. For example LT got a real job, which is great for him, but slows down writing considerably. I’ve lost my drive twice, and found that editing a novel is infinitely more difficult then writing one, especially if your job goes into overdrive. We have however made a great deal of progress, and I wanted to share what’s happened on the writing side, and what we’re planning for the future.
First I should explain what we’ve completed. The Reimu and Alice paths are done. The Flandre path is almost done. And we’ve started in on the “secret” and Patchouli paths. All together we’ve probably completely 3/5ths of what we were aiming for since our last post, and we have much more solid outlines of what we want to finish. Graph has also made massive strides with the remaining artwork, which he’ll probably explain more in detail in his own post.
What do we have left to do? Well finishing those last routes, programming it all together, and then a lot of editing. How will we handle all that? That’s something we’re still discussing with ourselves, and we’ll probably end up asking those people who are still interested in the project as well. I have a few ideas, but making a big deal about them when we still need to finish the routes is kinda foolish.
We’ll continue to keep you informed as we polish off routes, and when our programming starts in earnest.
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!