Undercover Undead is just about complete. I need to edit about 40 more lines and add music to the scenes before I send it out to get some beta testing.
The plan is to release the 2nd story “Undercover Undead” for Halloween week for spooky goodness!
It will have a bit of new music (unplanned, but I’m considering trying to get a new track each story~ ;D ) and a lot of fun little animated clips and videos, as I’m getting more used to After Effects and seeing narratives in my head more easily.
That being said, we’re going to try our best to finish an extra little surprise, for release at the same time as well, but time will tell if we can pull that off.
And if you caught that little tidbit earlier, yes, we do have plans for additional stories for the game past Undercover Undead! We have a few ideas, in various states of development, and only time, inspiration and funds will ultimately decide how many stories will end up making it into the game. Almost certainly, at least a total of 4.
It’s been a little bit here since our last update. Balancing art, coding, emails and various public relation things can be quite a handful, and most days I just opt for doing work instead of talking about it!
That being said, I am more likely to update our Twitter with misc. progress and various things that plague/amuse me that are at least mildly game dev related.
Another round of auditions ended, and the results are as such!
Jordan Haro as Vasco
Anairis Quinones as Felicia
Ben Balmaceda as Preston
Caitlin Buckley as Nik Juza as Knife
SungWon Cho is now voicing Krok!
The other sprites are still being rendered. Pale Spectrum has 27 character folders at the moment, not counting small extras. I’m getting through the game at a decent pace, but it’ll still be a bit before everything is shiny!
One entire route of the game is coded (if bare bones in places) into the game, with the other routes creeping along. This amount of writing sits at just under 100,000 words. The last lines for a handful of main characters were commissioned, and some were even sent in!
It is the beginning of the end, and it has been quite exciting.
On the same hand, we have been dealing with construction on the house that we’re renting, and so the last ~two weeks have been a strange, randomized sort of torture involving hammer men for as little as 1 hour to as long as 11 hours a day, weekdays and/or weekends included. The sheer randomness and extended nature of this construction, a lot of energy has been spent on not going insane, as our little two person studio works from home. Having your home being hammered on from up to two sides at a time is incredibly distracting, and has played a number on our sleep/work schedules.
Fear the hammer men.
That being said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing through the game’s newer chapters that are less polished, as it means I haven’t read it more than once or twice. Some of the voice lines coming in catch me so delightedly off guard that it just brightens my day, or sends me into giggle fits. It’s a lot of work, putting in voices, but definitely a delight.
As inspiration and time has struck me, I’ve begun working on later chapter cgs.
Our lovely musician Johnathan Johnson, who composed for both Brilliant Shadows and Pale Spectrum, recently launched his own studio’s Kickstarter for a game filled with lovely, unique ladies. It was wildly successful and you can take a peek at what they’re up to here, if a political drama / romance visual novel sounds like something you’d be into!
With some shiny new software upgrades to help speed up his composing, he was nice enough to create a short, epic track based off of Brilliant Shadows’ theme which he was kind enough to let us use in the game.
For anyone interested in behind-the-scenes stuff, such as the time-lapse of this image, you can check out my Patreon for various tidbits. The highlights of these tidbits will show up in the Art Book, once that gets started/finished!
James Larabee, the amazing voice of Sword and a truly awesome individual in general, prompted me for some convention merchandise, which got me thinking. We don’t have a huge amount of it in general, so this image popped up in my head and I’m going to get some post-card sized prints of it, as well as use it as a CG during one of the final chapters. I may raffle off one on our Patreon for funsies in the near future.
I have officially started the sketch for the poster of the game, and I’m thinking I’ll actually end up making two posters, possibly? As this first one has 12 characters in it, and while it is lovingly busy, I’m also thinking of a simpler one of just our lovely lady protagonist, Belinda. Sketches of this will likely show up on the Patreon shortly, if I’m ever confident enough in the mess to show it before completion!
Well, now that I’ve written you all a small book! Hope everyone’s having a nice week.
Aside from that, I’ve been adding background variants to scenes as I go through and polish chapter 2. As well as narrative coding (sprite expressions) and music.
The ending for the Mountain storyline has been written, and there’s only one remaining ending for the Palace storyline left to finish off. Which is good! Since the budget for the game is creeping close to what we had for it, which is pretty nutsy, seeing as that means we’ve spent over $5,000 on voice acting for the game so far.
It’s great to see that the end is in sight! While not entirely certain of the exact release date just now, I’m aiming roughly for April-May, as that is the 1 year mark since the kickstarter campaign ended. We’ll see how it goes! This may just mean that the game is ready for beta testing during this time, or that it’s done except for a handful of voice over lines, but I think it’s a good goal to work towards.
The studio has officially gotten moved into a new house, so expect the work flow to ramp up again as we get more and more settled.
I hope everyone is having a great new year. It’s been a roller coaster over here, never a dull moment.
Been hard at work finishing chapter 1 off completely. There’s a rather extended fight scene that boasts many cgs that are just about completed now.
Have some cg teasers and monster sprites! For the longest time I was struggling with the fight scene, as action shots are not my strength. Thanks to an unending wave of confidence from not only my husband but also from my friends, I was able to find something that worked for me! Since then, the cgs have been coming out great and I’ve really been enjoying them and feeling very proud of them.
I’ve been considering trying to get some help on the alpha/beta testing front of Pale Spectrum as we code more and more branches within the game. I may end up asking for beta testers before too long, if there’s any interest there.
Aside from that, I’ve launched a small Kickstarter called “100 Fantasy Portraits” where you can get your character into Oria Trail, a game that I’ve been doing art for on and off and that IDHAS Studios has been coding. It’s inspired by Oregon Trail and revolves around the fantasy/sci-fi lives of some young human/dragon folks.
Those of you that follow me on Patreon will have seen these portraits as they were made!
Whether you’re just interested in having a custom digital portrait of you, a loved one or one of your original characters/D&D characters, pop on by and see if it’s up your alley.
For anyone concerned about having this on my plate as the same time as Pale Spectrum, these portraits are a great treat for me and give me a chance to warm up or wind down from the heavy rendering required for Pale Spectrum.
Thought I’d pop by and put a little image of Hek and Prude here. Hek doesn’t seem to grasp the point.
Familial visits have just about wrapped up, so we’re settling back into a work schedule. Things have been slow this December as I’ve personally been out of town for 3 of the 4 weeks of December, and now with Christmas, my Birthday and then New Years, the party never stops!
More updates to come in January. Hope everybody is having a great weekend, and that 2017 turns out to be a good year!
It’s been quite awhile since our last update. The game has been steadily moving forward with development. Nyo has been busy voice editing and finishing off writing routes. I’ve been busy kitting sprites out with expressions and adding them to scenes, editing voices, coding, and getting backgrounds finished.
According to game files, our voice folder has over 3,200 lines in it. To put that into perspective, Brilliant Shadows in its entirety only has 2,751.
An alpha version of the game featuring a mostly finished Chapter 1 was put onto steam a few days ago, and a small group of close confidants have been playing through it, helping to locate things that need tweaking, and helping boost our morale with their lovely feedback!
Working on a large project is incredibly taxing just in the sheer amount of work put into it that can’t be shown because of spoilers.
I got Ash’s second pose/outfit drawn up the other day, as well as a set of 13 expressions for her. I was quite happy with them so I decided to share them here!
Hopefully everyone had a nice Halloween! We got to see a pretty stellar Mabel and Dipper set of costumes, and when chastised for not having Waddles, they pointed down the street to where a Grunkle Stan was casually walking a leashed pug in a pig outfit.
Have a great week and stay safe, everybody.
Things have been moving along; we just closed out another set of auditions.
Results from Round 2 of Auditions!
Mox – Kellen Goff
Lyrael – Felicia Valenti
Lillerly – Elissa Park
Norville – Josh Chichester
Duke – Cal O’Malley
Progress has been a bit slower than usual as we’ve been struggling with two ill family members for some time now. Because of that morale has been a bit low, but we’re still chugging along.
All of the music for the game was compiled into a list and organized. Counting all 4-12 second tracks and variants, Pale Spectrum will be using both its OST and the OST from Brilliant Shadows, which sits at 78 tracks total. It’s pretty impressive and took 3 hours to organize so that I can easily add it into the game.
Here’s a little screenie of the monster in case you’re curious.
Chapter 1 has 95% of its music added and some SFX, about 90% of its lines, and chapter 2 we’ve just started plugging lines into.
Aside from that I’ve been working on finishing up sprites, for those who don’t follow any of our social media outlets. Chapter 3 has been refined and we’re getting ready to send it out to voice actors.
Guess that’s about it!
I hope that everyone is happy and healthy and having a great weekend.
With a few of the paths reaching completion in their writing, I feel it’s safe to give a small run down on length of Pale Spectrum.
A single complete path from beginning to end is over 100k words in length.
This is currently longer than Brilliant Shadows was in it’s entirety, and averaging roughly 2.5x longer for a single route from the original.
There are currently 13 endings. There are going to be more. There are 4 major story perspectives which branch 2-4 times each. The endings for each path can affect other, or only affect the story in which they are made.
There are a large variety of epilogues which are triggered based upon the endings reached on each story. If I were to use marketing speak I would say there were “Bazillions”, but really there’s going to be a quite a lot and they’ll be called upon based on a variety of choices with many being triggered by unique choice combinations.
While Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 will be largely the same regardless of play through, the decisions made in these chapters will completely change what story is told for Chapter 3 and on, and decisions made during following chapters will do the same.
We really wanted decisions to matter, causing you to have a different story depending on what you chose. Your major decisions will have major influences on the story, and the story won’t lead back into the main one to make it easier to write. You will get a completely different ending if you make different choices, simple as that.
Well, unless you literally only make the few fun choices like naming things differently. Then I suppose you’ll have different names in the ending? It’s not impossible.
The only big flaw in this type branching is that, if we do a sequel one day, we’ll have to pick a canon ending because there’s no way we could continue the story from so many independent endings.
Life for us here at Ithaqua Labs has been incredibly hectic recently, but we’re glad to finally say that we are settling down. Back from a two week trip that was a mixture of work and play, both of us have been hard at work drawing and writing!
Lots more voices have come in for Chapter 1, and auditions for round 1 of side characters will be closed as of this evening.
Johnathan Johnson has been pretty heavily composing music, and sending many WIPs and finals for us to listen to. I’m quite looking forward to adding the lovely songs to the game.
So as to help keep myself sane and on track, I’ve decided to finish everyone’s first sprite and outfit, and then work my way back around for second poses/outfits for those who are getting them. Yesterday and today I focused mostly on Krok, Mox and Aelfnod.
Everyone has been undergoing a slight rework/redesign as we’ve entered into full gear for Pale Spectrum, and you can see it pretty easily on Krok and Mox, and even on Aelfnod who now has a fuller body as I learn to draw the ever elusive male hips.
We are planning to set up another round of auditions for extras for chapter 1, as well as for the side characters that were added via Kickstarter. That should be happening within the next two weeks.
In the mean time, if you’re ever curious about the nitty-gritty, day-to-day endeavors of what goes into making Pale Spectrum, I have a Patreon.
Lots of polished art will still make it through Kickstarter’s updates, and various WIPs and videos that highlight important parts of the game will be still show up in the Art Book for Pale Spectrum, but rough sketches and progress shots will regularly hit my Patreon for those interested in such things!
I also live stream my art from time to time, and you get sneak peeks at Patreon only stuff there, or catch me doing Pale Spectrum art or commissions. Today I actually streamed for about 5 hours, during which time I did a Prude chibi, some isometric, desert cube blurbs for another game, and finished rendering Krok and Mox.
A track I shared awhile back on my Patreon which I’d like to share with you is Terra’s theme for the game. It’s one of my personal favorites and I hope you enjoy it as well.
Thought I’d stop by and say hello, and post a little bit of the art I’ve been working on recently!
This is Prude in her outfit for Chapter 1, as well as a WIP shot of a background I’ve been working on. Slowly getting more comfortable with perspective, and some fun stuff is being born from it.
We already have several character’s voices for chapter 1, so that is moving along smoothly. Auditions for newer major characters are still going for another 3 weeks, and then we’ll post more characters and start accepting auditions for them.
Music has been coming in solidly as well. Johnathan Johnson makes some really great stuff! He actually just launched a Patreon so go take a peek, especially if you’re looking for music for your own project. He has some great deals on music that comes with commercial rights, and just fun stuff to listen to otherwise.
Aside from that, we’re just taking it a day at a time. The art spreadsheet of doom has been created, and is slowly being filled with green rectangles of completion.