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Progress Report

Progress continues!

Only one more day to complete for phase 1! I'm getting pretty excited for phase 2, were I get to really delve into individual character developments. The best part? It'll be fairly easy to complete, or at least, compared to phase 1. The bad part? It'll probably still take me just as long as this phase did... and that's assuming I keep going at it the way I have for the last couple weeks.

Regarding the dating sim elements... I'm going to go with a rather non-traditional way of execution. You'll have full choice over which girl you end up with, rather than the game deciding on how well you've treated them. I did this for 2 reasons. The first is that some of the girls are rather unpredictable, and I don't want players to accidentally end up with a character they hate. The second reason is because each character plays very differently on the battlefield, and you should be able to choose how you want to play the hardest missions of the game. Some people won't be so appreciative of this aspect, but I really believe it is the right choice.

I feel awful having neglected EL4 so much for this over the past couple weeks, as that game NEEDS all the attention I can muster. I'll most likely set some time for it after the end of phase 1, at least to the point of finishing the second chapter (since it's been written for a while). FH also only has some beta playing left before its next release, so I need to do that too.

Anyways, progress continues! Lightspeed ahead!

Progress Report

Half finished Phase 1? Indeed!

It would seem so! Another 3 hours of work on this today resulted in a whole new chapter/episode/day/whatever being completed. I am now finished 3 of those and moving onto a fourth.

I've been thinking about the demo request from the previous blog, and in case you missed my response, I said I hate releasing demos but it is probably doable. What I could do, for the sake of a demo, is to skip right to Phase 3 of development after the completion of Phase 1. This would result in an entire day/episode/chapter/whatever being completed and ready for testing. It'll go straight to my locker, as I don't want reviews or anything for an unrefined version of the beginning of the game. I'll blog about it when the time comes.

It's been a busy few days for this project, and I'm miraculously moving forward at a quicker pace than I'd even hoped. What can this mean for the actual release date? Well... I'm still not certain, but it'll be moved up drastically if I can keep my pace. That also depends on how I divide my attention between this, FH's new version, FH2, and EL4. I'm crazy that way. I'll keep y'all posted on how it's going though, and we'll start to get a clearer picture over the next month or so.

Game Design

Development Process

Alright, time to outline how I've decided to go about making this game. I have structured it into three separate phases, since it's going to be a pain in the ass to work on all phases at once (even though it would kind of make sense).

The "days" (which will be spaced out by a week or more at a time) where you walk around the academy, learning about plot details, planning out your missions, leveling up your relationships, and carrying out simple character requests. I'm on day 2 so far of... well, I think 6 is the magic number for this part. Further days will be explored in phase 2, which will be more character specific. Phase One is the longest phase by far, as it requires constant attention being paid to where you have gone, where you need to go, and what you need to do to complete your side quests. It's all story conversations, and there are so many things to consider while making it that I've only begun to realize. However, as far as I know, so far so good. Aside from a few unwanted transparent messages that I'll have to revert, it's going slowly but smoothly along.

There are a whole bunch of switches that I need to make sure not to overlap in this phase, and beta testing is going to be one hell of a bitch as far as that goes. However, I do think it'll be a fun little playthrough, so long as I don't run into any MAJOR problems. I think once I get into the swing of it, these "days" will be easier to make since they follow the same basic structure (scene, explore, choose party member, do character quest, continue onto mission).

This phase covers the latter days of the game, after you've basically chosen which girl to be with. Each of the 7 girls will have their own routes, one of which will end the game prematurely (it'll be easy to see where that's going beforehand though, so don't worry about making a big mistake accidentally. Your hard choices by this point are over with, so you can just sit back and enjoy the story (aside from intermittent missions along the way). The missions for this part will all be the same though, so there's not much point in replaying with another girl unless you REALLY want to see their personal stories.

I have a few of these planned out already, and I'm trying to tie them all into the main story as best as possible so that you're not left with a bunch of high school type drama (ala most other VNs). Just don't expect these to be the happiest affairs, I want to create pathos for these characters so that you'll actually care about them.

The missions themselves. I made the layout for the first mission already, but I've pretty much left it at that for the time being. I wanna tackle them all at the end, get in the right headset and not spread the work all apart. This phase will also include item placement, which is gonna be a real boring bitch to do. I need to do that at the very end so that it's happening during the beta testing anyway. I'll also put the endings in this phase, as it'll tie in with the final mission.

So anyways, that's how I hope to maintain cohesion throughout the game's development process. I got a good little chunk done today, finishing up day 1 and doing a couple conversations for day 2 as well. I may not be finished for the night either, we'll see.


Future Developments

Being that this is my third flagship series, there will be future additions to the game. I decided since there haven't been any updates since the game's reveal, I would let you all in on what I have planned.

The Game
The reason for the slow progress this month is due in part to the latest build of Fragile Hearts. I recommend giving it a try if you have yet to play it when I release the newest version (very soon, I promise). The other reason is because I keep deciding that certain graphics, areas, animations, etc could be handled better, so I've been backpeddling a little. Fear not though, this project is not going away.

I want to be clear here, these won't be made for quite a while. I want people to enjoy this first game as a standalone adventure first, and let some time pass before I delve into these. There will be a total of 2 sequels, and I have no plans for it to go any further (of course this could change, but atm I refuse to look beyond the trilogy). I have the basic premises planned out, as they naturally built themselves around this world I've created. If I ever do eventually decide to go past a third entry, a fourth would take place in a different setting with new characters and probably be very different. Anyways, MN2 will eventually be made on RMXP, and MN3 will move to either VX or ACE.

Fan discs
Yes, I'll be doing these. It wouldn't be a true Visual Novel without them, would it? Anyways, There will most likely be 3 of these. 2 will recount the different pasts and stories of the various supporting characters in the game, and the last one will be a prequel tale establishing some of the major themes and plot elements seen in the main game.

These aren't required reading, and there will be no gameplay involved whatsoever. They will contain numerous short stories and follow a linear plot throughout. If you took a particular interest in one of the main characters in the game, that's probably the only reason you'll be wanting to download these. They will also most likely have fairly short development times, as everything I need will already be in place. I'll be releasing them throughout the year AFTER the initial game's release.


Surprise! Day early reveal!

I hadn't planned on this, but seeing as how tomorrow is Canada day and there is gonna be a big family celebration here (meaning I'll be cleaning for hours on end), I don't think I would have the time to do this tomorrow. Plus, I know there are many other fellow Canadians that will be busy tomorrow, and I don't want this to be missed by them either.

So there you have it! The main page has a bunch of details on the project now, and I uploaded a bunch of screens from the first episode. I will load some more on once I get into the meat of the rpg gameplay a bit more.

Anyways, ~Memories Neverlasting~ is a visual novel, but it will have plenty of rpg gameplay in the mix, so I'm not trying to limit my audience here. If you've ever played and enjoyed a Sakura Taisen game, this should be for you, as that was my main inspiration. The story will be much darker and mature here, however, so don't expect the lighthearted and campy atmosphere throughout.

Now, assuming I haven't chased away all of my subscribers, comment away! What else would you like to know about the project? I'm not holding anything back anymore!


Couple more days to the big reveal!

I didn't blog as much as I said I would. I didn't want to annoy people too much with this, so that's pretty much the only reason I have.

Anyways, this is yet another reminder that the big reveal is VERY CLOSE! I've been piecing away at finishing the first chapter, and while it is just about finished... it is going to require quite a bit more polish before I consider it complete. Making all of the battle animations has been taking up a lot of my time, so I've been bouncing back and forth between that and mapping/eventing. Not to go into specifics, but mapping for the project is mostly complete overall, and I mean the entire project. Eventing, however, is going to take months and months to do.

Anyways, I've worked a bit on this game this week, but mostly I've been relaxing from rm. Working on 3 major projects is definitely a lot of work, and taking a break is often a good idea. Not too long a break, of course, because then you don't end up finishing anything.


5 days to the reveal!

Just a friendly reminder for those who haven't seen this project yet. Even though it was buzzing for a good week and most people, at one point or another, probably became aware of it.

I'm going to try and finish the mapping for the first chapter today. I will most likely also include some screens of it at the reveal, depending on how pretty I manage to get it. I have a basic layout already made, but I'm thinking a change in chipsets is in order.

If there's anything in particular that you subbers want to know at the reveal (that I haven't listed previously), let me know. I do hope to have all questions answered by then.

Progress Report

Progress Report - 10 days til the reveal!

Okay, as promised in the last blog, here's the progress report.

The game is broken up into chapters or episodes, like many of my most recent projects. So far, I'm still only on the first one. I'm admittedly not even sure how many there will be in the end, as it will depend on how deep I can make the story. I want the game to focus on each of the lead characters, and each episode will focus on two (differing routes). That's quite a few, but again, I'll save that for the reveal.

Anyways, as far as I know, all of the graphics are done. This took me a good 2-3 months to get them all ready, and it required a lot more attention than even Fragile Hearts 2 (which is a lot). There are a couple things that aren't quite up to par with the rest, and so I may have to redo those in the coming weeks before I can move on to later chapters.

If I had to guess, I would estimate that I am 8% finished overall, as the graphics were probably one of the biggest pieces of the design. You never know how things will change though, as this is still a very new project. In fact, I'm sure that once it is fully revealed, there will be people on this site that have some great ideas for how to change or improve the project too. This always plays a part in shaping a game, although to varying degrees.

That's pretty much all I can say right now without revealing too much. I'm not sure what my next blog will be, exactly, but it will probably lean more towards what will be shown at the reveal.


15 subs in 2 days! 12 days to the reveal!

Wow, I can't believe my skeezy marketing scheme worked lol. It's actually 16 subs now in the third day! With so little info on the project, that is pretty awesome to me!

I've got everything ready for the reveal, so I'm basically just being a dick and building up hype over the next couple weeks. But hey, it seems to be working. There seems to be a general misconception that the game's title is the biggest point of the reveal, but seriously, it isn't even a secret really. The whole secret project title is just part of the awareness scheme, more than anything.

There's one piece of information I wanted to hold onto until the reveal that I can't stop thinking about, so I think I'll come clean about it now. This is a serious project that I hope to spend as much time and effort on as the EL and FH games, so it isn't one that should be expected to be completed in the next month or so. While I very well could go that route, I want it to be a decent length (like 10 hours or so), ideally, and that is going to extend the creation process by a few months.

Nevertheless, I always set out to finish my games, and this one is on track for a 2012 release (my estimate for the date will be revealed on July 1 with the rest of the info). It's gonna be crazy working on this alongside Fragile Hearts 2 and Eden Legacy 4, but it does allow me to switch between all 3 games without losing interest too easily.

Anyways, expect more awareness rants on the 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th, and 30th of the month. My next blog will probably deal with current progress and how far along into development I am.


The Countdown Begins... 15 days to the reveal!

So this is the big secret project I've had in mind for a little while. I figured it would be fun to do something like this, with a big countdown and everything to the reveal using blogs as a reminder. The aim is to build curiosity throughout the community so that people will keep it in mind when I finally do blab about the details.

HUGE thanks to the RMN staff for accepting this. It may not have met all of the qualifications for profile acceptance, so I'm pretty happy that they gave me a pass.

So, I guess some of you may be curious as to what details they should expect when I do reveal the game in greater detail next month. Here's what you'll get to see on July 1st (Yay, Canada Day!):

-Game Title
-Full story in great detail
-Character page and info
-Feature list (including battle and leveling systems)
-Gameplay details
-A mass of new screenshots demonstrating gameplay
-Estimated release (it'll be sooner than you think)

As stated on the main page, the game is not quite what it seems by what is currently shown. I'll leave you to wonder about that, but the screens are real, so rest easy that I'm not totally screwing with you.

Anyways, in terms of progress, I made leaps and bounds last night in regards to graphics. This game required a lot of editing, which I've been getting used to due to the FH series needing constant attention. Last night I spent about 3 hours straight putting together what I hope will be the last of my graphical needs (aside from still needing a title screen, which I've already assigned to my buddy who did the FH ones). From now on, it will be straight up designing and eventing til the end.

Anyways, keep close watch on this one. It isn't simply another side game like Surreality was, this is a deep production that will be completed alongside both Fragile Hearts 2 and Eden Legacy 4.
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