Re: Where we are now

August 29th, 2015 by IcedFairy

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.)

Where we are now

August 23rd, 2015 by IcedFairy

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.

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2015 by Graph

I’ve started doing CGs for that part of the story. Please look forward to ESR in 2015!

Snuggling on the Couch

A word on ESR’s art.

October 20th, 2014 by Graph

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!

Ice Cream with Flan

Alice and Dolls

State of the Plot

October 19th, 2014 by IcedFairy

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.

Touhou Mecha Chapter 3 progress

March 2nd, 2014 by Graph

Hi folks, Graph here with an update on Touhou Mecha Chapter 3.
Okuu's Discovery

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!
Old Rivals
Kisume

ESR : The state of the game

December 17th, 2013 by IcedFairy

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 back on Twitter!

November 26th, 2013 by Graph

Reimu, TM ver.

“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!

Chapter 2 CGs on DA

October 19th, 2013 by Graph

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!

Aftermath

October 9th, 2013 by Graph

Unyuu...

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.

Touhou Mecha OST

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!