April 2021 Studio Update
Greetings! The whirlwind month of April is over! It's time for another report!
For the video report, please check this here:
2.0 is out!! As was mentioned in prior posts, we were targeting late April for the release of Day Two content and we came through!
The month of April was probably one of the wildest we've had since our crowdfunding campaign. We started out the month with a background, a prop image, and one final red shirt character needing to be created.
We ended with not just the final content for Day Two getting done but, also a whole new scene sequence completed, a lot of bug fixes, a config screen, and then a whole slew of button effects we didn't even plan to add at this stage.
For starters, this release could not be possible without heroic efforts from our team. Miss Winks, Conn, Ingrid, Michael, Fynx, Ryan...they all stepped up and made this possible.
Work going into the release went all the way till the 25th when we finally squashed the last issues we needed to squash. We put a April 27th deadline and despite some last minute cramming and squashing issues, which revealed the core of most of our bug problems, we got it done! Unfortunately, there is some persistence issues with the config screen but, overall we accomplished way more than we anticipated. A big part of that was thanks to Michael Wandojo who handled all the programming needs and really went above and beyond to get so much setup on the backend of this release.
Also, sadly, we had to say goodbye to the 3D camera effect that we had employed for the Gramps scenes. It was revealed that this was the culprit behind most of the bugs that Dust and Air had. Ultimately, this does reveal this is a problem on Tyrano's end. Hopefully their engine overhaul, currently in production, resolves this. It is a nice feature that we would certainly like to use again in the future should Tyrano fix it.
Moving onto art, one of the big surprises we never thought would happen in the Cathedral story was the introduction of a character that had only been teased in concepts.
She is one half of a sister villain duo from Calle's arc: Rusilla. On the right is a comparison from her original concept done by Faith a couple years ago, to her current full color reveal within the story.
She is the reason we opted to build another scene so late going into the production of the Cathedral arc. Her scene in Day Two was determined to be a necessary last minute addition that would enrich the story as a whole and build upon Calle's backstory.
Now this is not her final character model. That will be created later. However, this will be a solid foundation for the future. If you played through that scene in Day Two, you'll also know that we didn't just stop with Rusilla. But, we'll save that reveal for another month.
Moving on, and because he gets so little screen time, we're posting our red shirt Yeshan soldier model that got finished in April by Miss Winks.
This supporting character may not have a very important role but, he's setting a design standard for future work we'll be doing when we get to Aoli's story arc.
Winks did a fantastic job taking all our ideas and some of the original concept art images we had for him, then bringing this all together. Really wanted to showcase her work. She has been going above and beyond.
Moving on into May, we'll be seeing her work once again for the Fjordlander guard character who appears in day three. These may be simple supporting characters with no names but, they'll be setting style guides for story arcs to come.
Overall, May is looking to continue well from what we've done in April. We're happy to report that Georgy is ramping up production on one background rework and two characters. Both of the characters are mostly done. One needs expressions, the other needs a shading pass. We're expecting to get those done within the month of May.
If all goes well, we'll be dropping the Day Three content patch by the end of the month. However, due to the content and nature of Day Four being also very much complete, we are considering simply rolling out both drops together. Which may be late May or early June. Most of the remaining content needed to be worked on after Day Three is actually some epilogue content that would be slotting into July.
We're right now on track for making our July deadline. Despite some delay these last two months when we added another scene to Day Two, we accomplished more in other ways. The bug fixes that came in during the 2.0 patch were big deals. If we had to push back a little bit, we're only projecting a push back till the end of July at the most.
There is some other additions to Dust and Air that we're testing right now. One of them being achievements. Michael has done some basic ground work on it and proved we can do it. Getting that to communicate with Steam servers and developing art assets for it is the big deciding factor of when we get that released. Something that we're stretching out some feelers for assistance on.
On top of that we are looking at revamping the title screen and bringing in a few more timed effects. Not too unlike games like Katawa Shoujo. However, this may end up being something we finish post departure from Early Access.
All and all, things are looking up for Dust and Air. We're excited to see it's departure from Early Access on the horizon. Till then, keep an eye out for those announcements on Steam regarding content drops. We'll post them whenever we do an update.
Alright, thanks for reading. We'll see you in the skies!