While I'm racking my brains over drawing dynamic figures for Enelysion (mostly to prepare for the action-based cutscenes, sprites can't do it justice), I've been finishing up Laine and Patrick's portraits. I'm busy with their expressions right now.
Large images coming up.
I present to you Paine.
I also received a great piece of fanart from Celianna this morning ( that amazing VX tileset artist ^^ ).
Drawing dynamic figures are so hard... Raw sketch below.
*sigh* Slow and steady WIP does it. Laine is so much fun to draw. I don't know whether it's her outfit design, or drawing her messy hair.
More raw sketches. Laine's portrait here formed the basis for the first image. Siglud's portrait still needs work. He also looks a bit dilly. ^^ I'll change up his pose like Ronove suggested on the other site. Since he isn't a rigid sourpuss like Cillian, he should be more relaxed. lol
Back to the drawing board with me. Archeia said she would start testing the beta I sent to her about a week ago, so I can expect some feedback there too. :)
Ah, yes. Yet another graphical setback, yet, no fear. Nothing disastrous has gone done this time. I've always been wondering about the portrait usage in the game, and when I took a vote over at rpgmakervx.net a while back, I asked the players to ask which portrait style they preferred. Original art versus my Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance edits.
The original art won out in the end, but not by a landslide. The votes ( out of the 142 cast so far ) came rather close. 49 for OA vs. 44 for FE art, iirc. The remaining votes consisted of those for whom the art style didn't matter.
So, I've been thinking ( and doing ) two releases of the game: One with the original art, and one with the FE art, since I've always been particularly fond of the latter. Just last night, I whipped up Laine's FE version, based off her new design.
And it's also for those of you who think my art is horrible... Huge heads, slanting characters and the like. The FE art gives the game quite a professional look, if I say so myself.
All edits done so far ( with Laine's older design ) I really don't want it to go to waste.
Oh, the head sizes... I seriously need to refine my art technique.
BUT! I am not ditching the OA. There will still be a download for those who like original artwork in games, so, yeah. Should get rid of that one dilemma that has been bothering me for a while.
Oh well, back to the drawing board. Oh, and I have time to kill, since I finished up my testing last night. ^^
Well... the moment of truth will soon be upon me. I started sending out the game for testing today, so all I have to do is wait. Once the reports come in, all I have to do is process all that info, fix whatever needs to be fixed and... BOOM!
I'm estimating a release for the end of this month, instead of June. And I'm already starting to feel that familiar pressure. I have the feeling I will be physically sick to my stomach on release day. ><
I so badly don't want to disappoint, even though I know that no game is perfect, nor can every game cater to everyone's taste. But yeah, 18 months is starting to culminate into one big package of my blood, sweat and tears. Even though it's far from done (less than 1/2 through the actual plot), I'm hoping I can crack that 15+ hour mark one of these days.
Thankfully, I've got some wonderful testers behind me, two of whom all of you are very familiar with: Archeia and Emmy ( I just hope she'll be able to test, despite what happened to her laptop... :( ). So hopefully it will turn out well.
Another thing: Since this is a character-driven story, how do you guys feel about the characters so far? I want your honest opinions about them ( even if it only about the 2 that were introduced in the demo, since Cillian and Siglud only pop up as playable in the new version ).
Desperately need feedback here. I mean, if the player doesn't care about the characters, then what keeps them going? I really, really value input, you know, and rest assured that I will never, ever discard your opinions as rubbish, or useless, or w/e.
Yes, that's right. All I have to do is write one more scene, do one last personal beta-test, and send it off to my actual testers. I've also started working on some
more character concept art ( nothing to show just yet ).
At 6 potential playable hours, I sincerely hope this wait will have been worth it ( I say it so many times, but I'm just worried about disappointing you guys ). I'm very hard on myself, and have been working virtually non-stop on this.
With the testing to role out towards the middle of this month and depending on how long my testers will take to test the entire thing, expect the game to be out by the end of May, for the latest. That's one month earlier than expected! ^^
As for some progress screens: ( because everything is better with pictures. ^^)
Updated title screen. I really, really like this one.
Let the title screen idle for a while, and you'll see a series of silent cutscenes.
New skills to be learned. Your characters can now only earn a maximum of 1000 JP. But once you spent it, it starts going up again after finishing battles. The reason I added a cap is to prevent players from getting all the best skills in the game outright. But the strongest skills always have a pre-requisite of some sort.
Fail: It should read 'Revives one fallen ally'... ><
It is extremely unlikely that you will get the strongest skill in the game for each of your characters, unless you grind like crazy. ^^ Random note here, but I just love Laine's sprite so much. So badass. Badass chibi, lol. ^^
I hope the game's scenes won't be too long for you: They average around 4-5 minutes for every scene. Oh well, it's better than 10 minute long versions... The music makes it worthwhile though. :D
Well, here's to luck and a hopefully successful release!
That's right, guys. I have finally reached that 5-hour mark I've been striving for. To my shock, I realised today that Chapter 2 is nearly done! Just have to wrap up a few more cutscenes, finish up some extra areas, and BOOM! My testers get them, then I'll upload it for your gaming pleasure. ^^
Temperature meter: Hot, desolate places will have a negative effect on your
characters progress through the infamous Maut Valley. Once they start suffering
from heatstroke, all stats save HP drop by 50%.
And for those of you who love to explore, expect this demo to last around 6 hours!!!
Wow, another progress report? In less than a week? Guess I really am getting my behind into gear for this new release! I finally overcame the dreaded 'designer's block' to get to this point. I'm looking at around 3.5 hours of playtime now, from where I am in the testing process. Once it is done however, we're looking at the promised 5.5 hour mark. :)
So, what have I been doing so far?
- Mapped the entirety of the Ulster mountain range ( it has entrances to the south, east and west ).
- Adding in a few new towns, one of them a desert town that is still a WIP.
- Finished up some major cutscenes.
And some screens: ^^
Accessories galore: Your characters, as you know by now, can equip 3 seperate accessories to give them that edge over their enemies. Mix and match them to realize each character's full potential.
Blizzard those turds! Those guys are complete bastards to defeat, if you excuse my language. Heavy weapons work, too. The game is pretty hard by this point, but not notoriously 'Nintendo Hard'.
The actual cave where the above battle takes place.
So that's what I've got for now. Now please excuse me as I retreat back to my
testing station. ^^
Glad tidings, everyone. Enelysion is progressing quite smoothly so far. I recently hit ( only ) 150 maps, so I've been a bit behind in the mapping department. With regards to actual story progression, I wrote out 3 key scenes between yesterday and today. I also added a few new tracks to the game's soundtrack.
Enelysion currently has 37 full length tracks ( out of which, only 3 are from commercial games ).
If all goes well, you can expect a new release by June, for the earliest. :)
Some useless random stats:
Game planning and progression period: 16 months
No. of maps: 150 >< Thank God I don't parallax, or this would've been really low.
Game size: 134 mb ( uncompressed ) Audio: 99 mb o_0 Graphics: 33 mb
Total planned chapters: 6
Average song length: 4 minutes
Average cutscene length: 3 minutes
Total number of cutscenes: 14 ( there may be more )
Just two new drawings I churned out last night. I got myself a high-quality sketchpad ( I tend to draw better pieces on 120g/m paper or higher ).
This is Eliza's concept drawing. She is your fifth party member in the game, a sage with a strange past. Of unknown age and birth. She is sort of a female Expy of one of my favourite characters in Phantasy Star 4, Rune, right down to the hair colour and personality.
However, she won't become available/playable until Chapter 3.
And here's Paine again. ^^ ( that was the nickname players gave to Patrick and Laine ). Cookies to anyone that can guess Laine's reference pose. :D The smaller image features Laine and Pat in their promoted outfits.
I'm estimating that Enelysion will have around 5-6 Chapters in total. At roughly 2 hours per chapter, that will give it an estimated total playtime of 10-12 hours. I hope. If I can finish this baby, I'll feel so relieved. But sad... Those two of sort of become part of my life right now, and I'm sure the other characters will grow on me in time as well throughout the development phase.
Then I can start on that sci-fi project that is meant to be a love-letter to the classic Phantasy Star games. :) No fan-game.
So I have stalled in this long enough, my friends, and break my nasty procrastination
habits. It is just a tiny preview of some of the new features in the game, such as
the overworld map, more emphasis on exploring and of course, a helpful in-game guide. And the new art, of course. ^^
I apologize for the quality of the video, but the sound is all right. :) I'm not sure when I will release this ( I'm still on the process of restoring my lost data.. -_- ). Who knew it could set me back so far?
I know the wait has been long for many of you ( 5 months for RMN players, more than a year for VX.net players 0_o ), but I'm wondering if I should release a teaser/extended version of Enelysion, maybe by the end of this month, before I release the 'official' ( though still incomplete, this baby is a long way from done ) version in June.
Since so many things have changed, I'd like to get opinions on the new features and
such, before I do anything else. It will probably be slightly longer than the current version, but with more places, skills and scenes to play thorough. However, the real meat of the story only comes in during Chapter Two, so that won't form part of the teaser release. It will still end at roughly the same place.
But! You'll have a brand-new world map to explore, and most of the areas will be
available to you to explore. ^^
New intros and music too. ^^ And that art.
Purty battle backgrounds and more skills to learn!