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Devlog 2 - The Ash Black Cat and the Happy Ogre

Hello, it's been a long time since my last devlog!
(To say my life is problematic lately would be an understatement, but never mind!)
The work on the game has been going on behind the scenes, so it's time to update you on everything <3

I'm still working on the third floor, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only two parts of eventing and I can finally move on to the fourth floor (considering I've been working on it for months, I'm about to cry).
But let's go in order...

New areas to explore!
One of the first ideas I had for this floor was a gothic library. It came out pretty atmospheric too, if I may say so myself.
Sneak peek:

You can't see it from the picture, but there are many animations. Books flying, chains swinging...
Don't worry, this map is... huge. It's not too spoilery. You will be able to explore it to your heart's content. Yes, there's some gameplay too, it's not just a cozy reading space. Maybe even some secrets to find!
(And flavor text for each book. If you enjoy reading flavor texts, you'll have plenty to do in here.)
Yes, it's a bit dark... here. I assure you that there are more enlightened parts.
Maybe in the library you will start to find some hints on why the game has this title.

THEN. One of the maps I've been looking forward to: the Alchemy Lab!
I was able to use a tileset that I loved and put all the neon lights on, and it came out LOVELY. Another sneak peek:

This is a little smaller than the library, but I think that's okay. This lab is at the heart of the entire third floor quest, so I wanted to give it the right pathos. I would also like to add some details of legends and folklore, such as the legend of an Italian alchemist... and his creatures. But first I have to figure out how the heck I'm supposed to make their sprites.

These are the most important areas I've worked on, but there are many others. Like the 3C classroom.

What will happen in this room? I'll leave it up to your interpretation!

We can say that the third floor is divided into two big quests, which in turn are divided into minor tasks. One of these, the main one, is almost finished, only one part is missing (so 3/4). For the minor one, I evented 2 out of 3, but I have to work on some images, so let's say I did 1 and a half (?).
On this floor you could work with poisonous plants, play the game of silence, solve codes and relax with the fishing mini-game in toxic waters. (!) I didn't even say everything.

Aaaah, my favorite part! I wrote several new cutscenes. The third floor is also fun because new characters appear: an extremely annoying magic helper, and especially Gioele and Abele.
I wrote their scenes as well, and they're two pretty... intense characters. (especially Abele).
You will also be able to move them and see things from their point of view, although obviously they have a little less screentime than Noelia and Feli. Anyway, if you're wondering yes, Gioele and Abele are engaged.
I finally managed to draw their busts too, so as soon as they're colored I'll post their bios too.
Also, we'll start to talk about the story of the school, and some mysterious things from the past... not necessarily correlated to what is happening now, but you know, I love world building.

Sound effects!
Ah, I ADORE working on SEs. When I updated the demo a couple of months ago, I did a complete revamp of the existing sound effects, eliminating all the RPTs. Now I'm continuing to add things here and there, tweaking the BGS, and I've added the footstep sound. I just need to record a couple of slightly... peculiar noises.

A few little things I've added (or plan to include) to improve the overall experience.
- New menu with longer descriptions, different categories and big icons for items. Although I actually left the small ones because the pixelated effect is cute.
- Text skip: now you can speed up the dialogue. (Required, given the dialogues with multiple choices).
- Quick save and load: save and load a save by pressing a single key. Since the story has a visual novel vibe, I wanted to put the quick save. But at the moment it doesn't work during the dialogues (which is the key thing), so I have to work on it...
* Dialogue log: since there are so many dialogues here, I wanted to give the player the opportunity to re-read the last things said.
* Hints: self explanatory, you will find them in the menu!

And this is all! .... I mean, I've done some other stuff too, but this devlog is long enough already.
Actually, the development is going pretty well. I think I'll be able to publish for the deadline, Halloween 2023. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Therefore! Thanks to those who have played the updated version of the demo and to those who are following the development! I'm also working on another project, a super short game, which I hope to release next month. It's pretty much finished, I just have to write some dialogues and prepare the images. But we'll talk about this soon!
As ever, a little reminder: you can find shorter, but more frequent updates on my Tumblr or Instagram. (And also that I have a Ko-fi cough).
Thanks for reading this far!
Until next time!