As is always the case, there’s a couple bugs I need to fix up that just got found, so I’ll be doing the release when they’re done. After that, the next goal is NC+ for chapter 5.
Bad Things on the Art Front
Chicken’s tablet is now broken due to Windows updates messing the drivers up. So she’s finally getting a new one, and going through all of that nonsense. Really, our studio seems to be having a bad June, what with all the injuries, sickness, and equipment failures.
And we’re very close to finishing up the chapter 5 art, too.
You can find a changelog below, but the big ones are: Auto-win handler: Mugging enemies 5 levels below your level causes you to win instantly, no battle required Autosaves. The game now autosaves between rooms so you won’t lose progress if something melts! Gem Auto-transfer. When changing equipment, gems automatically move to the new gear. Lots of bugfixes.
Up next is New Chapter +, and that’s it for the (major) mechanical improvements. I’ll still be fixing bugs, and I still haven’t gotten everything I need for the UI update, so I’ll be working on Slitted Eye and Chapter 2 until I do.
Major *Added auto-win handler. Mugging an enemy (or group) that you outnumber and are 5 levels higher than causes you to instantly win the battle. *Holding down Z and X to accelerate dialogue now also accelerates cutscenes, causing characters to move faster.
Minor *Fixed an error in the chapter 1 profiles. *Fixed various small chapter 1 errors (thanks, Yoshielder). *Enemies now emulate patrolling so they don’t always spawn in the same spot. *Fixed Mei and Christine being able to transform without enough CP. *You can now press the Run key to toggle paragon portraits in the journal. *Added chapter 5’s paragon portrait files. They’re not in the game yet. *Pressing left and right on the New Save button when saving now scrolls pages.
Combat Balance *All HoTs will run after DoTs, meaning the healing applies after the damage, regardless of the order the effects were applied. *Changing jobs in mid-battle will set and unset passive effects correctly.
Engine Upgrades *Added autosave handler. Instructions on how to use it are in the Saves/Autosave/ folder. *You can now use PgUp/PgDn/Home/End to navigate the save file listing at a campfire. *You can now push F4 to immediately jump back to the title screen during gameplay. *Gems now auto-transfer when changing equipment, if the new equipment has enough slots. *Combat Inspector now has a scrollbar for effects. *Audio volumes now save to the config file whenever the player hits Okay on the options menu, instead of just when loading a game.
That’s right, the big announcement is our next studio project, Slitted Eye. Coming to PC in October (probably).
You play as a cat, Wispers, as terrible things crawl in the dark house around you. Make sure none of them get to your sleeping, unaware human.
We were heavily inspired by Five Nights at Freddy’s and wanted to do our own take on the weird subgenre, so here we are. Plus Chickenwhite is a huge FNAF fan.
The game is a 3D pre-rendered survival horror where you must use Wispers’ limited stamina and simple cat abilities to ward off a collection of night horrors. Unlike FNAF, you can move between rooms during the later nights. The enemies can attack your human, Charlotte, directly, or they can make a lot of noise and wake her up. And if she wakes up, she’ll put Wispers outside, were he can’t protect her. By the time he comes back in, it’s too late…
During the day, you can explore the house and interact with the radio, answering machine, TV, and newspapers to get important backstory. Where did these creatures come from, what do they want with Charlotte, and how does this dumb cat stop them?
And yes, because this is us, there’s some bad-end TF stuff. It’s off-camera, because this is a mainstream game, but it’s there.
Patrons will, of course, receive a free copy of the game. We haven’t decided on a price point yet, but it’ll likely be 5-10 USD at launch.
We want to have it out for October because there’s something spooky about that month. We’re hoping to attract some streamer and let’s play attention to boost the game.
Koops is the art lead for this game, with Urimas and Stinkehund doing the 3D render work. Salty is doing the engine. For technical reasons, Chickenwhite is doing the final shot assembly instead of Koops.
What about Chapter 2?
Chapter 2 will continue development while Slitted Eye is being worked on. Because of the pre-rendering, the game doesn’t require an extremely complicated engine, and the concept work is actually almost complete as of June 1st (Koops has one concept left to finish).
We hope to have chapter 2’s first release out before the end of the year. The Mechanical Patch is almost complete, and I (Salty) am going to be starting on maps for chapter 2 very soon.
Why this, why now?
The team has been wanting to make a 3D game for a while now, both to teach ourselves the production cycle and to acclimate the artists to the tools. We’re using Blender for this with touch-ups in ClipStudio. Urimas has been experimenting with Blender for a while now (see the loading screen for String Tyrant) and has become rather adept. So we’re making a game and he’s teaching the other artists what he knows.
Also we want to make a game where you play a cat because cats are fluffy babies.
Oh and maybe it will take off and we’ll make money off it that we can use to fund Pandemonium idk seems unlikely.
The next version is still being worked on. It contains enemy patrol scattering, adds the ability to show paragons in the bestiary, fixed the HoT/DoT priority issue, adds an autosave handler, causes gems to transfer when changing equipment, adds the ability to accelerate cutscenes with Z/X, and allows auto-win on mugging an enemy weaker than your party.
I am going to be working on New Chapter + this week. Depending on the sheer number of bugs that will cause, it will be out next week or the week after.
This version finishes the journal up, fixes some bugs, and adds the asset streaming code. Let me know if you encounter serious bugs. The game’s memory usage should be half what it was before and it should load considerably faster. Hooray!
Chicken has, as of v3.18, officially updated most of the art. All of the primary enemies and bosses in chapter 5 are updated. A few enemies (done by Koops) have “Good enough” shading and will get updated later.
She is now working on the Darkmatter and Electrosprite TF images. After that, a couple frames for 55 to delineate her new jobs, and we’ll be moving on to chapter 2.
Big Announcement Next Week
I was going to say “First week of June” but the Monday lands on May 31st so I’ll just do it then. Get psyched!
I know I said there’d be a release this week, but there will be one next week because a bunch of bugs showed up and I want them fixed first.
This version will contain the new asset streaming capability for the engine, allowing it to load images on-the-fly rather than loading everything at once. This both reduces system memory usage and overall load times.
And yes, it can be turned off in the options menu if it’s causing some sort of system problem.
Depending on the machine, load times were reduced by up to 50% in our early trials, and memory usage is cut by about 45%. These are major gains!
I just need to fix a few errors like the images loading with the wrong filters, and it’ll be ready. And since Chicken is still doing more reshadings, some of chapter 5’s shading will be updated, too!
Big Announcement Coming in June
Nothing about it now, but the studio has a big announcement coming at the start of June. So get real excited, you jerks.
Chicken wanted to modernize the remaining TF art in chapter 1 so everything looks all nice. Well now she’s done doing that, so chapter 1’s next release will have all of its art! Good job, Chicken.
Now do chapter 5, Chicken.
Release Next Week
I wanted to have the next journal update published today, but I have like 4 quests left in chapter 5 so it’ll be out next week, along with all the lovely art.
After the journal is ready to go, I’m going to be doing some backend upgrades to lower loading speeds by delaying loading of assets until they are closer to actually being needed. This should also reduce memory footprint, so everyone wins!
I’ve completed most of the journal entries for chapter 5. Currently mopping up the location blurbs and then doing the quests, and then it’s back to engine upgrades. So no release this week, but likely next week.
Chicken has finished a couple upgrades to chapter 1, this time, it’s Mei’s Bee TF updated with the new shading. She’s going to be updating the alraune TFs next, and then that’s it for chapter 1 holy cow.
Meanwhile, Koops finished the new intro image and is doing a concept for a character in chapter 2. Patrons will get to see her next week.
Hund and Urimas are spinning in place (or alternately, working on experimental stuff not related to the project).
The journal is a WIP in this version. It’s not complete, but the baseline code is all in place. All we need to do is write all the entries.
The bestiary tracks which enemies you’ve defeated. If you defeat them enough, their stats and resists will appear in their information pane. You can also push the Z key to see the full combat portrait.
The profiles tab keeps track of the characters you’ve met and gives you a quick description in case you forgot something. It even updates for some characters, particularly the very transformable ones.
The quest tracker keeps track of the quests you’re on, including what you should do next or where you should go. It doesn’t necessarily track everything you can do in the chapter, just the major things.
And here we have the location tab, showing the areas you’ve visitd and giving a rundown of them.
Finally, the combat glossary. It details the minutiae of combat, detailing mechanics that are a bit harder to describe in the tutorial or character text.
I hope to have the journal completed for both chapters within the coming weeks. In addition to other backend changes, of course.
Added Gravemarker TF Images!
Added (woefully incomplete) Journal, WIP.
Chapter 5 jobs should now show which abilities are on their job bars.
Changed a deadnaming part in chapter 5.
JX-101 has a diagonal loading frame now.
Increased JX-101’s attack power so she’s more useful during her section.
*Disruptor Blast should deal the predicted damage amount.
55’s Implosion Grenade now deals less damage than Wide-Lens Shot for 2-3 targets but more damage at 4 or more targets.
55’s Implosion Grenade should now correctly show damage prediction.
55’s Power Jump should show the MP increase.
Christine’s Supernova should do flame instead of slash damage.
55’s Nanite Cloud icon now has the CP requirement indicator.
55’s Psyche Out now deals 10% of her max HP instead of 20%.
Christine’s Overclock should show the correct icons.
Christine’s Beyond Sight show show the correct icons.
Christine’s Grounded now correctly shows prediction.
Christine should now correctly get Bloodboil for her last skillbook ability as a Steam Droid.
Christine’s Quickdry Splash should show the correct damage type.
Christine’s Oblierate shows the correct CP requirement indicator.
Christine’s Scavenge shows the correct CP requirement indicator, which is none.
Christine’s Seen Worse should show the correct description in the combat inspector.
Christine’s Embolden should show the correct icons.
JX-101’s Thunderbolt Slug shows the correct CP requirement indicator.
All chapter 5 in-combat items should benefit from 55’s User Manuals.
Christine’s Grasp of the Void DoT type changed to Obscuring.
Fixed a missing wall collision in the LRT Facility.
Fixed the ‘Neutronium Vest’ bug in the Biolabs.
Fixed Electrosprite appearing on Christine’s form list when she’s already an Electrosprite.
Fixed wrong sound effect playing when opening the door to SX-399’s room.
Catalysts should now correctly apply when loading a game.
Corrected the catalyst bonus indicators on the main menu.
Should no longer be able to be a non-human during the Black Site.
Fixed a number of enemies not matching their overworld sprite.
Void Rifts now have a defeated sprite.
Fixed Latex Drones not having a wounded frame.
Fixed several abilities not showing their hit rate in prediction boxes.
Ability description text in the combat inspector should line up correctly.
Fixed a bug where enemies using buffs on their allies would spit debug text if all their allies were dead.
Added Raiju Christine to the inventory face table.
Bloody Mirror should appear in the portraits box.
Golems and Geishas should also appear in the portraits box.
Generalized the ‘Madness’ type tables.
Updated all DoT effects to use the new standard.
Updated all effects to have standardized factory function.
Restructured ability and effect folder tree to be per-character.