July 2022 Studio Update
July is over! Already?! Ahhh! Blog and VLOG incoming in 3...2...
For the VLOG, click below!
July was perhaps one of the most monumental months we've had in awhile. After over six months of slaving away trying to get ports to work on mobile and having to figure it all out from scratch because Tyrano hadn't updated anything in almost a decade, we some very timely news from Tyrano here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/345370/view/3416560919684663872
Summary is, our suspicions were correct about Nyu Media going under. The silence was too strange. We had good regular contact with Jay the Nyu Media rep for some time and for him to just outright go silence and ignore us raised those red flags. Something was wrong and now we know.
For those that don't follow the VN engine industry much, Nyu Media acted as a go-between for Strikeworks (Tyrano devs in Japan) and the English western market. So we'd talk to Jay, who would then forward requests through Nyu to Japan. As upset as we've been for the silence, Jay was always a fantastic person to work with. If he was under an NDA, it is understandable why he suddenly ghosted.
So Nyu Media is shuttering as a publisher and releasing all their titles back to the devs who make them. Which means Tyrano both Japan and English versions is now handled directly by Strikeworks. Which is quite huge because it'll mean parity between East and West versions will be getting synced up. The Japan team is also creating a new office to handle interactions with the western market.
How this will impact us? We're not expecting a huge amount of major updates this year due to expected delay getting the new office set up. However, 2023 and on, we're hopeful at this time. We've not had any interaction with the Japan team so, time will tell. If anything we're hoping to see some engine updates for Mac OS which will allow better porting instead of using the Japanese version of Tyrano.
Speaking of ports, the iOS port was on track till we discovered a potential game breaking issue related to the skip function. Specifically, using skip, stopping skip, then hitting save. Repeated use of this seems to cause a crash to white bug that is not observed on Android.
Unfortunately, after pouring through every possibility, we found the bug is something that may be either engine or Swift framework related. There is abnormal sluggishness when loading up the save menu. This was tested on a new iPhone 13 Mini and a 5th gen iPad Mini. The iPhone slowed more than the iPad but both saw the crash. So our final thought is this might be a memory leak and something related to Tyrano's save system.
ETA on fix? Unknown. This is one factor that may be dependent on a future engine update. We'll be submitting a report to Strikeworks on this and hope they'll figure it out. In the mean time, we're going to be going through with releasing the iOS port in August. Only, we will include notes related to the issue and how to avoid it.
Moving on, art saw a bunch of updates in July with backgrounds getting into final state, others getting concepts, and then there was the last of Powder's models getting finished.
We also saw updates on Project 2 with three models hitting full color and a fourth entering concept.
Speaking of Project 2, some of the first engine related work took place in July. This was mostly looking at UI possibilities but, it's definitely advancing to a full production stage at a nice rate. Likely we'll see the story entering engine by the end of the year. As far as which engine we'll use now that we know Tyrano is coming back around...we're still keeping options open here. This will depend a lot on what Strikeworks does in the transition.
Busy month indeed and August is looking to keep the pace going!
Lastly, we snuck in a little price drop for Dust and Air and dropped it down to the original backer price of $10. This was mostly an anniversary related move. Unfortunately, we couldn't do it for the exact anniversary due to Steam rules with the sale going on. But, we dropped it as soon as it ended.
There will also be a little encore celebration sale for the first week of August because of the imminent release of the iOS port. Special thanks as always to all who have supported us to this point.
Alright, that's all for July, onward into August and we'll see you in the skies!