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  • Joshua Wise

April Studio Update

Salutations and greetings! Founder of Broken Hammer Games here to deliver another report from the trenches here at Broken Hammer.

To start us off, I'm proud to finally bid farewell to our old concept model for Sofia Aliyev, and happily introduce the new model.

Last month I talked about the variety of changes that took place from Sofia's early conception to her final character.

This month I'll just discuss the changes to her color scheme.

Drawn by our talented Lead Artist, Georgy, the changes to her actually hit rather close to home. Home being, she now wears colors similar to those of old Russia.

Georgy and I actually had quite a conversation regarding her. Since he is from Russia himself and her character is Mercantile Guild, which has a bit of Russian culture, we really wanted to update her in a way that would better reflect that. Yet we also wanted to keep her Asian style fan in tact since it was so key to her character.

For the solution, we part turned to Muse's new Alliance expansion for Guns of Icarus Online. The Mercantile Guild uses a lot of yellow in their color scheme. Georgy presented the idea and it sounded good.

And now here it is!

With Sofia's completion, we're now only one main heroine away from the completion of the Neutral Arc's heroines. The next up is the Anglean born relic hunter, Calle Haldora.

As the one who wrote Calle's story and much of her family lore, I really can't wait to see her final model.

On the writing front, I'm also happy to announce that the writing department finished it's complete overhaul of the Arashi Arc. This was actually started back in January as another edit/polish pass.

As I'm the lead writer on the project, I like to keep these polish passes going. It not only helps continue to refine the stories, but it also helps me keep track of the lore and stories which will no doubt pass 700k in word count by the time the entire game is finished. It really is a bit to keep track of.

After the Neutral Arc, the Arashi Arc was actually one of our first story arcs that entered into development. Gryphos, our other writer back then, had just finished his work on the Neutral Arc. I was under way writing the Baronies Arc and he felt drawn to do Arashi based on the scenario premise I had written up for it.

The Arashi as concepted by Muse

Unfortunately, the Arashi arc suffered the same issues our early arcs suffered. We hadn't worked with the game engine that much yet and neither of us were completely comfortable yet with the writing style.

Then as I became more comfortable, some of the supporting cast characters started to change as their own backstories got refined. The Arashi Arc was written before a lot of the changes happened and as much as I tried to update and fix it up, the story needed a full overhaul which Gryphos wasn't around to do. It was just the price of having two writers on the initial project.

The overhaul was decided on back in March when I had a meeting with Ryan, one of the co-founders. Due to delays on the music, I wanted to get something done while working on various tasks for the company.

An overhaul pass had been figured for but it was put off due to Nakiri's character not really having screen time in the Neutral Arc. However, she is still a major heroine that has both her own story and has appearances in other stories. Needing appropriate material for her to display in our coming Crowdfunding campaign was a must.

But, if there was changes that happened in the development of her new story, we'd like them to reflect on any models or material released. Thus it was determined to have the writing department go ahead and start the overhaul early.

All in all, the original script was reduced to it's most solid core structure, then rebuilt from there. Gryphos's work was preserved as much as possible but a new lore was created to resolve not only problems with the initial script, but also how the Arashi Arc fits in with the other stories it links to.

In conclusion, while the overhaul still will need more edits and polish passes, it now fits much better into the lore of the southern nations and it will feel more like it is part of the larger backstory. When we begin work on that story, it'll be in a much better state and we won't have to take time doing an overhaul then.

Aside from that, our next internal build has seen some progress as we've been adding in the new character models and addressing some bugs. We're looking forward to getting the next version out to testers in May.

Then lastly, and this is some rather sad news. Last week a good online friend of ours, was killed in a car accident. He helped our old TTR Studio team a lot during the Aerodrome events. Even did some vocal work in them. Was a very prominent engineer on my ships in GOIO back when we played more regularly.

We will be making a formal announcement when it is appropriate to do so and when it's alright with the family. I've already committed to writing in a cameo appearance for him in Dust and Air, and I'll have it in mind as I do some polish passes. I may just edit one of the supporting cast of a story for him.

So, apologies for the sad ending this month.

Till next month, keep breaking more hammers!

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