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  • Writer's pictureSquidslinger

January 2021 Studio Update

Welcome to February! It's time for another monthly update!

This report will be our first report since launching Dust and Air on Early Access last month. For those that are curious on what it takes to get a game onto Steam and the process, be sure to check out the Steamworks website.

Sales have been about what was expected for a title that has almost no advertising. Which is coming bit by bit. For now, we're just more happy to get it out there. What is promising is our wishlist totals have been gaining quite well. Unfortunately the stigma of Early Access games is very real and frankly, we don't blame people for being skeptical. We're gamers too who are skeptical of such titles.

Thankfully, we're not too far away from completing the Cathedral Arc, which should become more visible as we release our next content drop.

However, what people don't really tell you about game launches is some of the murky stuff. The cesspool of supporting services offering all sorts of grand promotions for game keys and which ones are legit or not.

Dust and Air is a visual novel. You don't see that streaming everyday because these are more like books. Gameplay is just advancing the story or making choices. Streaming can directly impact sales. Why should someone buy a VN when they just saw it on a stream? Yet this is probably one of our most e-mailed requests and the one which ended up in the trash. If any of our readers ever release their own games someday, this is something to be mindful of.

We've reached out to some curators and accepted the requests of a few that reached out to us. However, there definitely is a business in these for gaining free game keys. So much so that they often all have similar e-mail messages. Thankfully, Steam has a Curator Connect feature that is quite helpful in managing this.

That said, Dust and Air is slowly gaining traction. We're very grateful for those who have jumped in early. It helps in more ways than just funding. It builds confidence that we can make this dream a reality. Really, we greatly appreciate it and are endeavoring to meet our release goals so Dust and Air will become the game you hoped it would turn out to be.

So, where are we on those goals?

January saw our Day Two goals more forward with the completion of three background touch ups thanks to our new team member: Miss Winks

To the left is some of her work. She is quite the fantasy artist. We look forward to working with her in more fantasy areas in the future as we eventually branch out deeper into that genre.

Winks actually reached out to us via a freelancer board. Yohana made some posts looking for talent and Winks went above and beyond to find us and get involved in Dust and Air.

Look forward to more of her work in the days to come.

In other art news, Ingrid completed her task on updating the Accomplice character model. It's now in the pipe for Georgy to do a color and shading pass on it.

Speaking of Georgy, we are a bit concerned right now given the situation in Russia. He's not contacted since Putin dissolved the government. He was in regular contact up until then so we can only assume internet traffic there may be getting restricted. We hope and pray he's alright and that we'll be hearing from him again soon.

We do have a temporary solution in mind till he gets back that we will be employing going into the month of February. Development will continue moving forward.

Then lastly for art, Conn just started on a prop piece that may actually turn into a full background. He's also looking into helping on updating our remaining backgrounds. All in all, the art department is pressing on well.

The remaining tasks to complete on Day Two before we can release it, involves the writing department and is simply some final edit and polish passes. Thankfully they are nothing major and the writing team is on track.

February we'll be finishing up the last models needed for Day Two, as well as looking to finish the background passes needed. Our target for Day Two's release is the March/April time period. Hopefully we'll have Georgy back soon and can make March a definite.

Till next time, staying on target. See you in the skies!

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