June 2022 Studio Update
Salutations! It's our 6th Anniversary of Broken Hammer Games! Time to do a little reverie and a monthly report! Be sure to check out the Steam Sale and itch sale going on now to save 40% on Dust and Air!
For the VLOG report, please click the video below!
iOS port is in beta! Breakthroughs happened! This in part thanks to the Tyrano Japan devs who did have an updated Framework up from 2020. We just had to really dig to find it.
While it didn't solve all the issues, it did solve the primary ones which had us held back. When we found it, Chris chimed in and we had a playable active in Xcode within a short time. The rest of the issues were not too different from what we dealt with in Android. Mostly, Japanese buttons and text popping up.
However, we couldn't push it through testing in time for this posting since it was only towards the end of the month when we finally resolved some of the big stuff and got Testflight apps up. Despite that, after languishing months trying to resolve this, we're pretty happy. Right now there isn't really any reason we couldn't make release later in July or early August unless some major issues appear.
With this event happening, we'll complete our phone port goals. MacOS, should be right behind. Linux, is still pending on getting a working prototype going. We know we can export to it but we haven't found a Linux variant that has worked for us. Just don't have the experience with that platform. If you do, we welcome you to reach out.
Six years feels like an eternity and like it flew by. We took Dust and Air from an impossible project and brought it to release. There was a time we never even conceived getting this running on phones. Windows was the only option. We were just a bunch of dreamers who played too much Guns of Icarus and had a story to tell.
As always, special thanks to Muse Games for allowing us this chance to get here. Those that supported us in the GOIO community, also much thanks. Those who hate us and try to review bomb us from the GOIO community...Thank you as well! Your jealous tears help us sleep better at night! We only hope that if you ever get the opportunity to attempt something grand, you'll remember those tears and not give up! You'll never get anywhere without first taking a step!
That said, the steps taken during the month of June was quite big outside of the iOS port. We're quite happy to announce that one of our major supporting characters, the last member of William's crew, and a little bit of a heroine in her own ways, got final modeling done.
That's right, the infamous, Powder has officially made her grand entrance!
She's been one of our oldest and most concepted characters during the course of development. Originally a gag character pointing fun at low level play in Guns of Icarus, she later became more as story development progressed and we saw the potential in her despite her being a mute character.
For the story arcs she was a character we wanted to try something different with. Specifically, making her a bit more animated. Why? Because Powder doesn't talk so having her able to do more poses and motions was an idea Georgy had some time back. Which, also made her get pushed back further due to the difficulty of doing it.
She does make an appearance in the current Cathedral story release but, her scenes didn't really require her to have a full model done. Thus, it was pushed back to Raven's Prayer.
To see her getting full model polish is quite an encouragement as we move forward. Especially after getting so caught up with the port development this year. More than we expected.
As far as Raven's Prayer release progress, the Tyrano work did start in June. Specifically, giving Raven's Prayer more of it's own UI color scheme. To which, we're also announcing that we're steering course on our story arcs from DLC, to them becoming standalone games.
This has been discussed quite a bit over the previous months both in these reports and internally. The biggest blocker has been resolving save files between the Cathedral Arc and the story arcs. That alone, is projecting to be solved by developing a save file reader app that will be bundled with the story arcs. This will relay choices and attribute points to the new expansion.
It gives us the best option to honor our original commitments and set a solid release schedule for the story arcs. Not to mention avoids some of the bigger bugs and potential issues that we would have had to deal with.
Will we change this in time and go back to DLC? This is a big hypothetical question. Tyrano would have to do a lot of work to help make this possible. Right now, we are not confident in that happening. For whatever reason, the western publisher has gone dark regarding Tyrano. So, more likely we'll port the game over to a new engine before we foresee that happening. Which is another factor we're going to be keeping on the burner.
Renpy, is the real only option on the current market. While it is a robust engine, it's also a lot slower to develop on. Unity, gives us much better porting options including console ports. However, most of the VN plugins are extremely limited and expensive. Tyrano devs in Japan have appeared to have started work on Unity via JokerScript. This is promising as they seem to want to eventually deliver Tyrano level development capability. Right now, this is the most promising future pending it ever reaches a Tyrano level.
Could this be the reason why western Tyrano development has gone dark? We can only speculate. But given the problems between their engine getting stolen by VN Maker devs, anything is possible.
Project 2, provides us an option for exploring another engine more and we certainly are interested in utilizing it for that purpose. Raven's Prayer, for now will be built within Tyrano. Part because we've already got a lot done in it.
How it will release beyond that? The plan will be to revisit Early Access. While we didn't like it that much before with the Cathedral Arc, it will allow us to roll out the story bit by bit. This means the Raven's Prayer story will be brought out at a low intro price and will price up with time as more chunks of it are released. Dust and Air's intro story will remain on market as another support for it. You won't have to buy Dust and Air to get Raven's Prayer but, we plan to offer bonus scenes and content for those who got the original intro story. So, there is an incentive to get both.
Future story arcs beyond that will likely follow the same style of release regardless of engine in use. How this affects the cell phone ports? They'll roll out later. We've realized after these last six months that there is a lot more issues developing for them using Tyrano. We may even have to change the plan entirely to accommodate them. Till we get the PC releases going, we won't make anything official for them.
Now that we've said all that, this blog is getting long and we need to wrap it up. The month of July will see more escalation of Raven's Prayer development as we're going to start bringing in assets into the engine. Granted, there are still more assets to get done but, we're now finally at the point where we can get some of the more tedious work going. Powder was a major asset which has allowed us to do that since she is prominent in many early scenes.
So till next time, thanks for reading/watching and, see you in the skies!