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Progress Report

Development Update: Chapter Three Basically Finished, and the Future of Updates!

Hello once again, everyone!

I've been holding off on this one for a little while, since I wanted to have Chapter Three pretty well wrapped up before I made my next update. It's not quite there yet, but I think it's close enough to the point where I can make an update in good conscience. Approximately an hour ago, I finished the final scene of Chapter Three's trial! Huzzah! Quite a milestone. Chapter Three itself isn't quite finished yet. There's a (relatively) short sequence of scenes I have to write following the trial (every chapter has this) as well as a (again, relatively) short scene that bridges the gap between chapters (again, each chapter has this). But these should take a handful of days to write at most. In fact, my current personal goal for myself is to get the chapter out to my beta testers in three days. This is a lot more work than it sounds like, since I have to edit/polish up the ENTIRE chapter in ADDITION to writing and polishing up those final few scenes, but I think I can do it. So, heck, I'm going for it!

By the way, this would be far from the first time I've spoken about it, but I've been keeping track of how long the game is as I've been reading through each scene for my first time. And as of right now, according to my overinflated developer count, Danganronpa Team is over 20 hours long! That's right, Chapter Three is freaking LONG. It's longer than Chapter One and Chapter Two in every single area! I don't plan for this! I don't know how these chapters keep getting longer and longer! Chapter Four will probably break that trend, though. Chapter Three is in many ways one of the most important chapters in the game in regard to various characters' development and the overall narrative. So it makes sense for it to be a bit on the longer side.

But for those of you who speak the language of words rather than numbers, or I suppose I should say words in the guise of numbers, I have started keeping track of Danganronpa Team's length in another way! I've started using a script to export the text in each and every scene into text files, then compile them together into one file, and check the word count. Now, I'm holding off on compiling these numbers again until I'm completely finished with Chapter Three, but back when I was about halfway through the trial of Chapter Three, I worked my magic and came up with the number of words comprising the game thus far. That number was roughly 283,000 words, which is roughly 566 pages of text or something like that. Keep in mind, this number was from like a week and a half ago when the trial was only halfway finished, so the script's probably broken the 600 page mark now, or it's going to by the time Chapter Three is finished. That's pretty cool!

Now I do want to say a little something about the future of updates on this game page. I'm honestly considering going silent for a while, because I simply don't have much of interest to put in these updates anymore! Unless you guys want me to spoil the murder of Chapter Three or something! So I'm thinking of going the route of radio silence until the game is closer to being finished. Maybe then I could post some more creative, interesting updates. But for now, I really don't have anything I can share in good conscience.

So that's all for now. Whether or not we see each other anytime soon, thanks for your continued support, and I will keep plugging away at Danganronpa Team! Have no fear of that! Marche, out!

Progress Report

Development Update: Chapter Three Daily Life Finished (And Other Odds and Ends)

Hello, hello, hello, everyone! Not even a month from the last, and I've already got a brand spanking new update to present to you all! I don't know if I'm just getting more productive or what. Probably not, since I've spent an ungodly amount of time this past month replaying the Kingdom Hearts series (and getting the platinum trophies for each game, hence the 'ungodly amount' part of how much time I've devoted to them) to prepare myself for Kingdom Hearts 3. But I digress. Okay, but before we get into the update proper, I just have to say: Screw you, Squeenix, for making me 100% Birth by Sleep with all three characters for that platinum trophy. There, got that off my chest.

Concerning Chapter Three's Progress

Now then, there are actually a number of different things I want to talk about in this update. First and foremost, as the title of this update says, the daily life of Chapter Three is pretty much done (I literally just got to the body discovery last night). It turned out pretty well, I think. There are some pretty good scenes in there, along with a few of my favorite Free Time Events I've written thus far. I have to say, Chapter Three's daily life was a lot of fun to write in general. Because you see, while Chapter One and Two were more about setting up the characters and getting you acclimated to DR Team's world and whatnot, Chapter Three is where I've had my first opportunity to start really hinting at some of the story's overarching mysteries. And that's been a lot of fun. I love knowing exactly what's going on and hinting at it almost in a teasing sort of way.

That being said, I must admit I am quite surprised... I thought as Danganronpa Team went on, the chapters would naturally start to get shorter and shorter. After all, there are less characters, so I assumed I wouldn't be able to come up with quite as much dialogue and the pace would become a little snappier as a result. Well... the opposite of that's apparently happened. Chapter Two was longer than Chapter One, and Chapter Three is looking like it's going to be even longer than Chapter Two. The daily life is certainly longer, to say the least, and I don't see the investigation or the trial being particularly shorter than the last. It actually kind of makes me wonder if Danganronpa Team will approach V3's length after all (V3 felt noticeably longer than 1 and 2, as I'm sure any of you who've played it will agree). I suppose time will tell.

I do want to emphasize though that I'm not padding scenes out to make the game artificially longer or anything. On the contrary, I find myself cutting things I have planned out of scenes because I feel like they'd be too long otherwise. That's become more of an issue towards the end of the second trial and in Chapter Three's daily life than before. It's especially an issue in regard to the trials, because I don't want trials to drag. I've been trying to keep the trials so far at or under three hours in length or so. I'm willing to allow the later trials to get a little longer, but there's really no reason for trials in the first half of the game to be overly lengthy.

By the way, just so you know where I'm coming from, when I time how long different parts of the game are, I go through all of the options that lead to unique dialogue. So for the daily life portions, that means going through every Free Time Event possible. And for the trials that means pressing every statement and going through all the incorrect answers to direct questions you have to respond to. (I don't know if I've mentioned before, but every response in a question/answer segment in the trials has unique dialogue that follows, similar to Ace Attorney. It's a pain to write but I'm glad I do it. Better than just recycling the "Oh, no everyone's going to think I'm incompetent!" sort of line that Danganronpa tends to use when you answer a question wrong.) So you could very well go through trials and such much faster than my personal estimate. I wouldn't recommend it though, since pressing statements is where a lot of the best dialogue in trials comes out.

As for Chapter Three's investigation, I'm already prepared to jump right into that. Along with completing the daily life for Chapter Three, I've drawn up the murder scene and all the graphics I need for the evidence and so forth. So everything is ready to go. I imagine the investigation will only take a week and a half or so to make, since investigations aren't at all comparable in length to the daily life/trial segments. So by the next update I should be knee deep in trial territory! Kind of a strange feeling almost being back to writing a trial so soon. It feels like only yesterday I was writing Chapter Two's trial! But that's for the best! Shouldn't be too hard to switch gears and get into trial writing mode.

Sunset and Nighttime Sprite Tinting

So there are a multitude of scenes in Danganronpa Team that take place either at sunset or at night. You don't see night scenes so often early on into the game, but they become a bit more common later on. On the other hand, sunset scenes are relatively common throughout the entire game. I was just whipping up one such scene the other week and thought to myself, "You know, it looks kind of funny how everything is tinted orange/blue except for the character you're talking to." I thought back to the visual novel Makina is from, Grisaia no Kajitsu, which I recal tinted character sprites depending on the time of day in a given scene. So I decided to do the same thing!

Here's an example of how character sprites look at sunset:



And here's one of how they look at night:



Originally, I tinted the sprites much more heavily than I do now. Like, for reference, this was my first attempt at tinting sprites for sunset scenes:



And here's an initial test I did for the night scenes:



So, yeah. The former makes it look like Tamamo got turned into a straight-up deity. And the latter makes it look like she's halfway to becoming a member of a Blue Man Group. So obviously, those didn't cut it. But I'm sure you can tell, I toned down the sunset tinting far more than I did the night tinting, since the intensity of the tint in sunset scenes was far more blatantly offensive.

I think they look pretty good now, and I hope this is a change everyone finds agreeable. It's extremely easy to implement, so it's really no bother doing this for the odd scene. I will have to go back and implement this into Chapter One and Two's sunset/night scenes, but I think I'll just do that on the final editing pass.

Concerning Free Time Events

Another thing I want to talk about actually concerns Free Time Events. I was just thinking about the way I've been handling Free Time Events thus far, and I think my approach to them has been working out really well. That said, I don't think I've spelled out what makes them so unique as opposed to the other Danganronpas. At least, not as well as I could. So I'd like to take this opportunity to elaborate a bit more on them.

Just to refresh everyone's memories, in other Danganronpa's, Free Time Events basically amount to quick, snappy one-on-one conversations with other characters that give you more insight into their personality and/or backstory. And that's more or less it.

In Danganronpa Team, Free Time Events are first and foremost not one-on-one scenes. You often spend time with other characters in groups. Along with that, these are unique scenes that happen at fixed points in each chapter. In other Dangaronpas you could theoretically see a Free Time Event scene in any chapter. In Danganronpa Team, there is chapter-specific context for each Free Time Event scene, so they're one time only deals. For instance, let's say a cook-off is going to be held, and some characters invite you to practice your cooking skills before the cook-off. Obviously, such a scene wouldn't make sense at another other point in time, let alone in another chapter. So naturally, you only have that specific opportunity to see it.

What I'm trying to say is that rather than drawing from a pool of FTE event scenes like in other Danganronpas where whichever one you see is dependent on your bond level with a particular character, FTEs in Danganronpa Team are specifically crafted for specific points in each chapter.

Now, here's the cool thing about Danganronpa Team's Free Time Events that I didn't notice until recently. Many of the Free Time Events happen regardless of whether or not you attend them. And they often have lasting impacts on the story. What I mean by that is, say you have a choice between helping a character go shopping or attending another character's tea party. You might choose to go shopping, but that tea party is going to happen even if you're not there. And oftentimes, character/plot development and/or things that have an impact on the murder/trial will happen during Free Time Events. Not always. But it does happen.

And I think that's pretty cool. In Danganronpa Team, Free Time Events actually have an impact on the immediate plot. So you might go through a trial and that shopping trip you skipped might come up. Something relevant to the murder might have happened during it. And by going back and viewing that scene, you get more of an inside look into the inner workings of how the plot developed. Or perhaps you went shopping and a certain character changed after they attended the tea party. So you go back and check out the tea party to see how and why that character changed.

So that all being said, I highly recommend checking out every Free Time Event whenever the opportunity presents itself so you can get as full of a picture of what transpires in each chapter as you can.

Concerning an Opening

I can't remember if I've mentioned this in the past or not, but I've been considering making an OP for the game for some time now. For a while, I was against the idea. I didn't want to just copy Danganronpa 1/2/V3's openings. Heck, I didn't even want to re-use any of their music. But I've found myself a song I think I can use for an OP, and I've come up with some interesting ideas for what visuals would accompany the music. So as of right now, I'm thinking I will take a crack at making an OP. Not right this minute, but as I get closer to the end of the game, I'll definitely give it a shot.

So there's something to look forward to. Maybe. We'll see how it goes, and even if I do make it I might keep it under wraps until we get closer to release.

Anyways, that's all for this update. Unless I somehow gain the ability to stop time and complete the chapter before then, I'll see you in July!

Progress Report

Development Update: Into Chapter Three We Go!

Hello once again, everyone. No particular rhyme or reason to the timing of this update. I just felt like posting an update. Last time I posted an update, I believe I said that the second chapter was complete and after taking some time off to rest, I would be diving right into making chapter three. And I did try to jump right into chapter three, but it wasn't working out quite like I had planned.

Musings on Chapter Three

You see, in the past, I've been able to more or less come up with the murder and then wing my way through the chapter, coming up with all the necessary scenes and moments as I went. I dove right into chapter three and tried to start writing and it just felt wrong. Like something inside me was screaming "you need to take a step back and re-evaluate how you approach writing these chapters from here on out". So I did just that. I took a step back and decided I would sit down and write out an outline for the entire chapter as well as the trial. From scratch. I had already been planning to outline the trial from the beginning, as I did with chapter two (which was a hugely beneficial move), so ultimately this wasn't a huge departure from my original plan.

Anywho, I sat down at work over the course of a week or so and charted out chapter three from the beginning. Everything has been outlined, and it's looking good. I'm excited for some of the scenes that happen in the daily life, and I'm amazed I'm still able to come up with as many free time scenes as I do. The trial is looking much better than it did originally. I think I've successfully managed to avoid the lull in quality that tends to happen somewhere in the middle of Ace Attorney/Danganronpa games with one of their cases/chapters.

To get into specifics, the second half of the murder/trial is largely unchanged from what it was originally. I completely rewrote the first half of the murder/trial from the ground up, though. The first half was originally pretty, uh... Well, to be entirely honest it was straight up bad, looking back on it now. Now, I think the first half honestly might outshine the latter half. It largely deals with a part of the murder that vaguely reminds me of the fifth case in Danganronpa 2. Just as in the fifth case in Danganronpa 2 when you saw the murder scene you went "what in God's name happened here?", Chapter 3 brings similar thoughts to mind—or at least, to my mind. It should be a lot of fun.

So with that being said, I'm now working on the daily life of Chapter Three. Shifting once again into full-on development mode (rip almost literally all of my free time and social life). I will say, now that I've outlined Chapter Three and know exactly what scenes I want to make and what I want to go over in them, I feel a lot more comfortable writing. I'll definitely be doing the same sort of thing with Chapter Four and Chapter Five. Chapter Six, on the other hand, I think I can still wing a bit. At least towards the start of the chapter. I'll definitely need to outline the final investigation and the trial.

Other Miscellaneous Notes

I just want to mention a few other things before I end this blog and get back to work. First of all, I want to mention how Chapter Two's beta testing has been going. Two of my beta testers have finished it so far. Others are still in the process of working through it or haven't started it yet because they must actually have lives or something (the weirdos). So far my beta testers seem to be enjoying Chapter Two rather well. One who finished the beta said something that stuck out to me after he finished. He said he couldn't decide whether or not he liked the first chapter or the second chapter more. That was interesting to me, because I personally think Chapter Two outclasses Chapter One on a number of fronts. But I suppose opinions on each of the chapters will vary from person to person. I'll be looking forward to seeing which chapters are more well-regarded and which are looked back on less favorably by both beta testers and regular players alike.

But it really makes no difference to me. As long as none of the chapters are flat out bad or anything, I don't think I should tempt fate by asking for much more than that. Haha.

One other thing I want to emphasize in regard to Chapter Two's beta testing is how important this beta testing really is. I am but one person. I do my best to put this whole game together and edit it to Hell and back, but there are still a number of things I miss. Case in point, on the last testimony of the second case, one of my beta testers got stuck for an hour trying and failing to figure out what the contradiction she needed was. And what was the problem? The description I had written for the piece of evidence used to contradict that particular testimony was wrong. To be more specific, I had made one single error with one single word of that piece of evidence's description. And that one word was the difference between the contradiction making sense and the contradiction being totally incomprehensible.

So yeah, I'd just like to take this moment to say I really appreciate the pain and suffering my beta testers go through so the rest of you don't have to suffer as much.

(As a side note: Said beta tester who got stuck on the last testimony for an hour said the second chapter felt really long. She said it took her like nine hours. I think she's just a really slow reader. And plus there's that hour of being stuck to take into account. But I found that interesting nonetheless. I guess this game'll have some meat on its bones when all's said and done after all.)

There's one last thing I'd like to say. Or perhaps it would be better to say there's one last thing I'd like to vent about. I don't know about anyone else, but these past updates have stricken me as terribly dull to look at. I wish I had some images or something I could stick in the middle of these updates to give you all something to look at aside from a wall of text. But unfortunately, we're just at that stage in the game's development where anything I post would be a spoiler. It's a bit frustrating. Especially seeing as I keep saying "I'm making all this progress!", but words aside, I can't show any evidence of that. I know that's just how it is, but... I wish it didn't have to be that way.

I will say that I've requested for the artist I have drawing up some cover art for Danganronpa Team to draw said cover art sometime between now and when Chapter Four or so is finished. That's something I can share as soon as it's in my hands. But until then, I'm afraid words are all I have.

So I guess for my parting words, I'll simply say that I'll post again once some amount of progress has been made with Chapter Three! Keep hoping that progress continues for me! And also, do me a favor and hope that I don't die of heat stroke while I'm writing this. It's starting to get stupidly hot outside again, and with my PC on most of the time, my room is a bona fide sauna. 'Til next time!

Progress Report

Chapter Two is Finished!

Hello again, everyone!

Not really much to say this time around. I think the title says it all. Chapter Two is now finished and out to my beta testers! I'm pretty happy with how the chapter turned out. It ended up having more twists and turns than I expected, but who doesn't love a rollercoaster of a murder? And with all the new sprites I put in for all the different characters, the revamped animations/systems, and the new standards I started upholding while making chapter two, the game in general looks and plays better than ever.

I was actually just talking about Danganronpa Team a bit with someone I work with the other day, and they warned me about not falling into the pitfall of getting stuck in a cycle of endless editing. But that's really not an issue. With all those changes I made, I'm very satisfied with everything I've made so far. I can't think of anything in particular that I want to change or improve upon. So from here on out, as long as I keep rolling along the same way I did in chapter two, editing from here on out should be more or less confined to the usual. Fixing grammatical errors, rewording sentences that could be worded better, and so forth.

So where do we go from here? Well, I don't plan on taking much of a break here. I do think I'll take a break from working on the game while I'm at home for a couple of days. I think after reaching a milestone like this, it would be stupid for me not to relax and take a little breather. But I don't plan on taking a break for long, and I still plan on working on the game during my breaks at work even while I'm 'on break'. I'm really trying to prevent what happened between Chapter One and Two from happening again. Get too comfortable and it'll be hard to go back to working on the game. That's how a game gets put on hiatus. So I want to keep this momentum up!

Next update, I suppose I'll simply talk about how Chapter Three is moving along. In a perfect world, I would have the daily life portion of the chapter finished by the next update. But my estimates are almost always wrong (probably because I'm so fickle when it comes to how much I feel like working on the game on a given day), so we'll just have to wait and see. 'Til then!

Announcement

Announcing Danganronpa Team 2!

Hey, everybody. I'm back again with an exciting update concerning the development of Danganronpa Team. I know Danganronpa Team is nowhere near finished, but I've decided to go ahead and start production on its sequel, Danganronpa Team 2!



Danganronpa Team 2 is tentatively titled as Danganronpa Team 2: Freddy's Revenge. Why is it Freddy's revenge? Because... um... because he's mad that he didn't get to be the game master in Danganronpa Team 1, that's why! In fact he's holding this whole killing game because he's upset that he got overshadowed by what should have just been a side character! And the whole game will just be you helping him learn to cope with his shortcomings while everyone kills each other! And in the end, Freddy will decide to blow himself up to atone for his crimes! And...

I just spoiled the whole plot of the game, didn't I? Sorry, I just get so excited that I can't help myself. A-Anyways, moving on!



This is a cast shot of the characters I'm willing to reveal so far for Danganronpa Team 2. This isn't all of the characters. Not even close. You guys know those Smash Bros. rosters that everyone makes whenever a new Smash game gets announced? The totally impossible ones that have like 100 characters on them? We're going to make that a reality. That's right. Danganronpa Team 2 will be the first Danganronpa game to feature a cast of over 100 characters.

I won't go over every character right now, but I just want to point out a few characters in particular. We've got the protagonist from the Emoji Movie, whose name I don't even know. But he's... he's going to die first. Just so you know. This is just me taking out my hatred of the Emoji Movie through my creative outlets. We've also got Honest Abe, who's meant to contrast with Kokichi from Danganronpa V3. Whereas in V3 you were like "Oh, Kokichi's gotta be lying", in Danganronpa Team 2 the idea is for you to go "Oh, it's Honest Abe so he can't be lying... OR CAN HE?!" Besides that, we've got everyone's favorite character from the Final Fantasy series, Coldsteel the Hedgehog. And we've even got a rock as a character. I know he might not seem like much, but trust me, rock is full of personality and I think he'll end up being a lot of people's favorite character.



As for the gameplay, I would like to announce that all of the gameplay in the trial portions of the game will be replaced with Hangman's Gambit. The one from Danganronpa 2, because they said it was new and improved. And you know, I'm all about improving things in the sequels to my own works as well, so I'm taking Team Danganronpa at their word and including what must be the best version of the best minigame in the entire series. Along with that I'd like to announce that there will be only one difficulty, Ultra-Hardcore difficulty, where if you make a single mistake during any of the Hangman's Gambit minigames, you don't just get a game over. You have to start the entire game over. I think you guys will love the added challenge.

Along with that, I'd like to announce that outside of trials, I'm getting rid of Free Time Events as they appeared in Danganronpa Team 1, where you got to spend time with groups of people at a time. Instead, when you have some free time, you'll be spending it with Monika. Just Monika. I know you guys might have been looking forward to trying to romance rock in the free time events, but Monika refused to take part in Danganronpa 2 unless I agreed to her being the only person you could spend time with in Free Time Events. Don't worry, though, you guys can still enjoy Rockbama. That's the official name for the rockxObama ship. And if I see any of you try to ship rock or Obama with anyone else, I will hunt you down and erase you from the Internet, because I am the creator of this game. My word is law and Danganronpa ships are sacred.

So that's about it. I hope you guys are looking forward to Danganronpa Team 2! Currently, it's going into full production and I estimate that it will be released on April 1st, 2022. Of course, as most of my free time will now be spent making Danganronpa Team 2, I'm afraid I have to delay Danganronpa Team 1. It is now projected to be released on April 1st, 2026. I know that's after Danganronpa Team 2, (and yes, Danganronpa Team 2 does spoil Danganronpa Team 1 so don't play it before you play 1) but you guys just have to bear with me here. It's a necessary evil. For the sake of my creative vision.

With that, I'll be getting back to work! By the way, I won't be posting any more updates for quite some time. In fact, I'm thinking of switching to a yearly update schedule. So I guess I'll see you guys in about a year!

---

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, time for the real update. Which is to say, there isn't really an update. But expect one within the next week or two! Chapter Two is nearing completion, but my life's been getting a little crazy. Things have been getting progressively crappier for no real reason lately, and I've been spreading myself a little thin between real life, work, Danganronpa Team, and some of the other stuff I (stupidly) tried to add to my (already) full plate. But with that said, I've been forging onward with Chapter Two. The trial is getting fairly close to being finished. So I expect Chapter Two to be finished and hopefully out to my beta testers within the next two weeks or so. I'll post the next (real) update when Chapter Two is finished and out to my beta testers. Wish me luck!

Progress Report

Things Just Keep Getting Better and Better

Hey everyone! Back again with an unusually early update. Perhaps you might be thinking that bodes ill. Normally, I would probably agree. But this is one rare instance where I am being completely serious when I say that I have nothing but good news all around. So I've chosen to seize the moment and give a bit of an update before it all goes to crap again.



How I'm feeling right now.

So let's get started with progress on the game proper. As I believe you'll recall, when I last left you I mentioned something about not remembering how chapter two's murder goes and there was a late-trial twist that I didn't understand... Ultimately what I decided to do was to take the notes I had for the case (the outline, the list of evidence, and so forth) and write it all out on paper again. I worked through the trial beat for beat from beginning to end again, making changes here and there along the way.

I ended up condensing the trial. Originally the trial was going to have like 8-10 rebuttals/cross-examinations or something like that. But harkening back to the first case, it was somewhere inbetween 2 and 3 hours long with just 6 rebuttals/cross-examinations. I'm trying not to pull a V3 and have trials that feel too drawn out (at least not this early on; something like chapter 5 would make sense to have a longer trial), so I think condensing things a bit was a good move. Especially so, considering that I believe this trial will end up being a tad bit longer than the first one even after condensing it.

I do want to mention that upon getting to said infamous twist that I just couldn't for the life of me remember how it went... It made absolutely no sense to me. I just couldn't figure it out. And it's a major twist, too! I mean, it's how you end up catching the killer! But not to worry! I came up with a different way for the killer to be caught. One which makes sense. One which actually seems relatively plausible/feasible. And I think the case is much better for it.

That being said, I think pretty much all of the changes I made as I went back through chapter 2's murder and reworked it were positive changes. The second murder went from one that I felt was a bit on the weaker side to the kind of case that keeps the twists coming even after you think everything's already been worked out. And as such rather than dreading it and going "oh boy I can't wait to finally get past this chapter two hump" I'm actually rather excited to make it and see it play out.

With how successful this sort of process has been, I'm definitely going to do the same thing for chapters three and four when we get there. I think those would similarly benefit from some tweaks here and there. And then as I believe I've mentioned in the past, I plan on completely re-writing chapter 5's murder from the ground up (though I already have most of the major twists in mind). So... there you go. Ideally, things will only get better from here as far as the murders are concerned.



Makina is very happy to hear that things are progressing smoothly.

But surely that can't be all the progress that's been made, right? Right! When I last left off working on chapter two, there was a single scene made for the investigation. After I finished working out chapter two's murder again? I knocked that investigation out in under a week. That's right. Work is underway on the second trial now. As for har far into the second trial I am specifically, I finished making the first rebuttal the other day. There's still plenty to be done, but it's coming along (though to be honest, I've been slacking the past few days).

Originally I had wanted to wait to post a new update for Danganronpa Team until Chapter 2 was completely done. That's changed because I have more news to share than I originally thought I would. But as I informed my beta testers, I'm currently aiming to knock the rest of Chapter 2 out by sometime in late March. I don't know if I'll make that or not. I think if I work hard I can.

I do want to say that while the investigation went rather quickly, the trial has been slower going, which is part of my hesitation when it comes to my target completion date. I'm not entirely sure what the difference is, but I was having more trouble coming up with dialogue when I was writing the first few scenes of the trial. I don't know. Maybe trials just inherently take longer to create. Regardless, I will forge ever onward.



Hey look it's the Princess—and what's this?! She has a new sprite!

Another thing I want to mention. In the last update I believe I said something along the lines of "only a few characters remain that only have one sprite/expression/what have you". I can't remember if I included the Princess under that or not. I should have. She did have a second sprite at the time but it's a one-time use sprite. Not something that would come up on multiple occasions. So for all intents and purposes she only had one sprite.

Not anymore! Along with giving Okabe the multi-sprite treatment, I went ahead and did the same thing for the Princess! Again, I have to voice my disbelief at how many different sprites you can get from just moving some eyebrows around and messing with the mouth a bit. So the Princess has a bunch of sprites now. Which is great. In retrospect, she really could've used them. Obviously along with making her new sprites, I have to go back to the prologue and chapter one and put all the new sprites in. I'm not doing that now. I just finished going through the prologue and chapter one. I'll save that for the final editing pass, I think.

But that only leaves Charles and Foxy with one sprite apiece (aside from another one-time use sprite for Foxy in the same vein as the one I mentioned for the Princess beforehand).

Oh... wait. Did I mention TK also has multiple sprites now? Yeah, that's a thing, too. And Yu also has a second sprite now (although it's used frequently enough that I can't really call it a one-time use sprite).

So almost every character is way more expressive than ever before! This is really great. Seriously. Back when I was writing chapter one the final scene where the killer confesses didn't have as much of an impact because certain characters just did not have the sprites to properly express themselves. Certain characters were smiling when they should've been upset. Having a multitude of sprites at my disposal opens up a lot of avenues for me to have characters have more emotional roles in the story and for any emotional scenes they're involved in to hit a bit harder.



I'm in a good mood, so here, have the very first frame of the first chapter's results screen as a little bonus. I wonder what sort of animation(s) this Danganronpa's result screen will feature?

Now for the bit of news that convinced me to post an update before Chapter 2 is finished. As you are probably aware, I work a full-time job. Two things happened recently related to my job that are very good news for Danganronpa Team.

First of all, I now have set days off. Before, my schedule was random. Some weeks my two days off would be on opposite ends of the week. Sometimes they'd be back-to-back. Well, now they're back-to-back for good. This allows me to get into the gamedev mindset and try to get as much as I can done on those two days off. It's much better getting in the zone and staying in the zone than getting in the zone for one day, having to work a few days, and then having to wind back up all over again on my next day off.

Secondly, our yearly bonus just came in. And ho-ly crap is it a big one. Without naming a hard number, it's nearly twice what I was expecting. As such, I think I'm going to take a chunk of it and purchase myself a new laptop. I do have another laptop. It's what I used to make all of Danganronpa Team up to last summer. But that laptop is a piece of garbage. Some of the keys don't work right. The screen is kinda broken. The connections on the battery are shot or something (it can't store power; you have to use it while it's plugged in).

Suffice to say, my old laptop is just riddled with issues that make working on Danganronpa Team on it not only impractical, but straight up asinine. I've just been using my PC to make Danganronpa Team ever since I started working on it again back in October or November (whenever it was). But that laptop's issues are probably entirely my own fault. I just did not take proper care of it in any way, shape or form. I'm not at all surprised that it has the numerous issues that it does.

So you might be wondering what difference a new laptop will make if I'm just making Danganronpa Team on my PC now. With a new laptop, I can work on Danganronpa Team during my breaks at work. That might not seem like a big deal. But I get around an hour and a half's worth of breaks per night. That's an additional seven and a half hours per work week that I'd have to work on Danganronpa Team. That's a pretty good amount of time! And I plan to treat this new laptop like it's the Princess herself. Until Danganronpa Team is finished, I'll only use it to work on Danganronpa Team. I don't want it breaking down on me before Danganronpa Team is done this time around.

This also allows me to go back to my original plan, but with added gusto. Originally, I intended to make School Mode on my crappy laptop while I was at work. As my laptop only deteriorated further, I gave up on the idea. Now I'm going back to that plan... sort of.

My current plan is to use this new laptop during my breaks to work on Danganronpa Team's main game until chapter four is finished. Once the main game is that far along, I plan to switch gears and develop School Mode while I'm at work. While School Mode is a large undertaking in itself, I don't think it's anywhere near the undertaking the main game has been. So I think by waiting until the main game is further along in development, there's a better chance of me finishing both the main game and School Mode around the same time. In all likelihood, School Mode will still need some work even after the main game is all done, but... Well, at least this way I won't have to go "Okay guys the main game is done now just wait another four months for me to make School Mode."

All in all, I think adding this new laptop into the mix will make development speed up a little faster. And there's the added bonus (for my sake) in being able to work on Danganronpa Team while I'm at work of not feeling as guilty about playing other games from time to time when I'm at home. All too often I try to unwind with a game, but I'm pestered by intrusive thoughts like "You know instead of wasting time with this game you could be working on Danganronpa Team right now". It's just the kind of person I am. Find it hard to relax when there's work to be done, especially now that Danganronpa Team is back in development in the truest sense of the word.

I'll probably be looking to pick up that laptop sometime later this month. I'm not rushing it right now. Right now I'm spending my breaks at work reading the Spice and Wolf light novel series. I'm terrible at reading actual books. I've been collecting these light novels for well over four years, and I never managed to make it past book two. I just suck at committing to reading actual, factual books. Thanks to reading them during my breaks at work I'm now up to book thirteen. So I'd really like to finish the series before I get that new laptop. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll just put off reading the rest of the series for another four years. And I really want to finish it (it's so good). Sorry, all the girls of Danganronpa Team's cast. None of you can match Holo's charm.



Heck I'm in such a jolly mood I'll even give you the prologue's titlecard. It's nothing special, but hey. You get no more after this, though. I can't spoil anything from chapter two and onward for obvious reasons.

Well, that's all I have to say for this unusually timed, oddly positive, extremely long update. Things are really looking good for Danganronpa Team's future! Not only do I feel like I'm more or less back in the swing of things, but development will only ramp up from here! That said I do have to be careful not to overwork myself. I know my friends are concerned about that. I can't blame them. I think last week after I finished my work week I ended up spending eight hours straight working on Danganronpa Team the first night and then twelve hours straight the next.

Believe me, I'm just as eager as the rest of you to get this thing done and in your hands! But I really do have to try not to overwork myself, regardless of what targets/deadlines I try to set for myself. As much as I'd loooove to get Danganronpa Team out this summer, I probably shouldn't kill myself trying to do so. But there's still plenty of time left in the year! You never know how things will go!

The next time we speak, Chapter 2 will be finished!... I think. It'd damn well better be. Look forward to it!

Progress Report

The Hardest Part (?) Lies Just Ahead

Hello, once again everyone! Happy Valentine's day and a hopeful February to you all. I have a half-decent bit of news to share in this update, and I'm extremely exhausted at the moment after working on Danganronpa Team for the past five hours straight or thereabouts (it felt much longer, granted I should have been tucked in bed and asleep four or five hours ago), so let's get right into it.

Firstly, regarding general progress, I am pleased to announce that the very long and arduous editing pass (which was heavily delayed due to the ungodly amount of prep work I did for school mode and so forth) is finally finished. That's right. Everything written thus far is finally in half-presentable shape.



Me ^

I'm not sure if I've mentioned previously, but I do have some new beta testers on hand. Partially because one of my beta testers (and a good friend of mine) had to drop out due to simply being too busy. But also in part because I wanted to push out a new beta release to commemorate this occasion, especially considering that some major changes had been made to the prologue and chapter one in particular, and I needed some new people who were ready and willing to play through it.

Thus far, they've been pointing out more mistakes than I expected. As I always say, you can never have too much editing. Case in point, while some of these errors were things I simply missed, some were errors that I made while I was editing. So, yeah. Always something to be fixed.

That being said, the Prologue and Chapter One are now two steps away from being done. For good. The first of the remaining steps is of course to fix anything my beta testers going through now pick up on. The final step is for after the entire game is done when I do one final editing pass. There are a few things I need to implement on that editing pass, along with trying to pick up on any lingering errors. I will have one final new beta tester with me for that pass to assist me (who is already on board and everything).



Also me ^

That said we now approach quite possibly the most difficult part of this game's development, depending on how things go from here. It has been... What, nearly a year since I last wrote anything new for the game? Though I've re-read everything and feel like I have a good grasp of all the characters and their mannerisms and so forth once again, I still can't help but doubt that I've still 'got it'. Getting back into the groove of writing is going to be difficult indeed. Then again, I believe it felt the same way every time I started writing a new scene for this game. Every single time I felt like "oh, this is the scene where it's all going to come apart and I simply won't be able to write anymore". But once I got a few lines into each scene, that fear dissipated and I felt confident once more.

Let's hope nothing has changed between then and now.

But as I've mentioned before, there's a larger issue at hand. I've forgotten how chapter two's murder plays out. In particular, there is one major twist that baffles me. I fail to remember how it's supposed to go. How it's supposed to make sense. So I've got to re-figure that out now. Which is... quite anxiety-inducing, honestly. I'll attempt to think it through while I'm at work, seeing as I've naught better to think about for eight consecutive hours each work day. Hopefully that'll be more than enough time to figure it out again. And hey, maybe I'll think of a way to improve the twist in the process! It's happened before!

But that will have to wait at least until tomorrow. Considering that I will be going into work tonight on a meager amount of sleep, I won't exactly be in prime shape to think things through. Better to do it once I've gotten a good night's rest, eh?



Yes, I'm running out of ideas for pictures to use for this blog post, but this one is actually relevant.

Some other miscellaneous things to note. Along with adding new poses and expressions throughout the entire game thus far for Angie, Bacon, Kyou, Makina, and Yukari, I've taken the liberty of making expressions for Okabe. It was bugging me that of the few characters remaining who do not have multiple sprites, Okabe was one of them. But it's not as though multiple sprites existed for him. There was only the one. So I made him a variety of new sprites simply by fiddling with that one sprite. Of course, with the limitations of that, some of his new expressions are more subtle than not, but I feel that suits him well. Suffice to say, what I've got on hand now is a huge improvement over what I had before.

With that, the only characters remaining who do not have multiple sprites are Charles, TK, and Foxy. And I'm fine with that. Charles is... well, he's a real person, so there's no way for me to have multiple sprites for him with any real consistency. TK doesn't even have a face to show, so we're not missing out on much by only having a single sprite for him. And Foxy is different enough from the rest of the characters that I don't feel like it detracts terribly from his character to only have one sprite.

So in short, I'm pretty happy with the sprite situation as it is now. And thank God for that. Going back through everything and putting in expressions and such for characters who only had one sprite before was a giant pain.

---

I don't even have any more pictures to show and I'm far too tired to scrounge up any more, so let's just pretend that those three dashes are a meaningful way to break up these paragraphs.

One final thing before I sign off for this update. I don't have anything to show at the moment, but as you're all well aware, I am the sole person working on this game. Aside from the beta testing, I've been doing everything myself. That's changed very slightly. I've enlisted a friend (who is a pretty good artist with her own style) to help out with two pieces of art for the game.

The first is Danganronpa Team's box art. That's right, we're getting cover art. I can finally be rid of that garish logo at the top of the game's page. Not that I dislike that little header image all that much, but I think a much better image to represent the game is in order. And what better way to represent a game than through cover art? The second piece of art I'm having my artist friend draw is the game's final title screen. I believe I have mentioned at some point before that the game's title screen image changes throughout the game. What I'm talking about is the final final title screen. The one you get after completing not just the base game, but school mode as well. The final send off, if you will.

I haven't asked for either of these pieces to be finished by a certain date for the time being, as the game itself doesn't have anything remotely resembling a deadline and is still far from finished. But I would certainly like to get the cover art sooner rather than later for display purposes and whatnot. So we'll see whether or not I feel like pestering her about it in the upcoming months.

A few words of warning though regarding the cover art. The design is already laid out. I know what I want and it's all pretty clean cut. Not a lot of room for it to deviate from my mental image of it. Do not expect this to be like other Danganronpa games' cover art. The other Danganronpas had relatively straightforward pieces of cover art. They showed off all the characters. They were stylish, often colorful, and overall pretty cool.

I thought about different variants of that as I was conceptualizing Danganronpa Team's cover art. Different ways I could shove the whole cast into one image without making anyone seem insignificant. I considered all the different perspectives and settings that could be used, but none of it really felt right to me. And then I finally struck upon what did feel right and it totally defied my expectations. It doesn't feature the whole cast. It's not straightforward (in the sense that you'll be able to look at it and immediately understand all of the different pieces of it). It's not particularly vibrant or colorful. And it's not really complex. In fact, it's quite simple. I know I'm being quite the tease with this, but it really isn't at all what I was expecting it to end up like.

So that being said, perhaps it would be best to not expect much? Expect to be disappointed, depending on how much you liked the other Danganronpa games' covers. But in spite of how contradictory it is (not putting the whole cast on the cover of a game emphasizing the team, for instance) I do feel that it's the best fit for Danganronpa Team. And though you won't be able to wholly make sense of it at first, I guarantee that you will be able to by the end of the game.

---

And now I've talked for far, far too long. I must get some sleep. Wish me well as I dive back into chapter two. I honestly don't know how things will go from here on out, so I can't make any promises. Not that I've been good at keeping my promises thus far in the first place, so perhaps that's for the best. But do wish me luck. I've got some thinking and some writing to do.

See you all in a month or so.

Progress Report

The End (Of Editing) Is Nigh

Hey, everyone! Hope you've been having a good start to the new year!

I was going to wait a little longer to post a blog, but I figure it's been long enough and I ought to give an update on how things are going. I took a break for a week or two around the holidays just to relax and try to knock some stuff off of my backlog. But now we're more or less back into the swing of things, and along with that, editing of chapter one is very nearly done. I still have to edit the daily life of chapter two after that's done, but that will be far less intensive than editing chapter one has been.

For one thing, chapter two obviously isn't nearly as long as the entirety of the prologue and chapter one combined. But beyond that, I've had to mess around with a bunch of stuff for chapter one's trial. I can't recall if I mentioned in the past, but I had a beta tester mention that I should change the ordering of choices you're presented with when a statement is given in a trial (originally the objection choice was first, which wouldn't be good if your finger slipped or something). So I had to change that; along with a bunch of other little things like that. Editing a daily life segment is far easier since it's basically just... making sure the text is grammatically correct and so forth.

So now we're coming up to the hard part. Which is going to be getting back into making new content for the game. I'm sure it's going to feel weird at first, since it's been a while for me. But hopefully I'll be able to get a feel for it again pretty quickly (I did the last time development went on hiatus and I came back to write the daily life of chapter two). But more than that I'm worried about the trial of chapter two. There's one major twist that happens in the trial, but even after reading my notes I can't remember how the heck it was supposed to play out. So I've got to re-figure out how the second trial goes down. I'll probably just print out my notes and think it through while I'm at work. I was able to figure it out before, so I can (hopefully) figure it out again. I'll be figuring that out while I edit chapter two so I have it fresh in mind when I actually go to write the rest of the chapter.

There are some other little things I've been doing here and there in the meantime. None that I can mention outright except for (brace yourself) more audio editing. I listen to a lot of the songs I use in Danganronpa Team while I'm at work (because, hey, I like the music), and I realized that some songs cut off abruptly. Or there was a non-insignificant amount of silence at the beginning/ends of the songs. Or they just didn't fade out/loop in a way I was satisfied with. So I went back through everything and edited it all. All the music is now good to go and final and if I have to edit any of it again I am going to scream. But I guess that's good news. All the audio is more or less finalized. I might add some sound effects and such here and there as the need arises, but other than that it's done.

Ah, I suppose I ought to mention that two or three of the beta testers I had for Danganronpa Team dropped out (or I kicked out due to being unable to contact them in any capacity for a huge stretch of time). But they've been replaced. And I suppose it's good timing. What with the Prologue and Chapter One in particular receiving such heavy editing/revision, I'm going to hand the edited version of those chapters over to them so that they can play through and make sure everything's good to go. After that, the prologue and chapter one will be more or less finalized. There's still one final editing pass after the whole game is finished that will touch on the prologue and chapter one again, but any changes that will be made then will likely be very minor.

That's all I've got to share for now. Next time, I'll give an update on how chapter two is coming along and how things went with the prologue and chapter one's new beta.

---

As an addendum to this progress report I want to mention a few things I was considering over the past month or so that are kind of up in the air and may or may not happen.

First of all: I know Danganronpa Team is coming along very slowly. Far more slowly than I would like, but there's no sense in working on the game 24/7 and burning myself out. After all, I unfortunately have a life to attend to and other things I want to do besides. I know the wait must feel rather long. It certainly does for me. So I thought of perhaps making a demo of some sort for the game.

The problem with that is I'd rather not release a significant portion of the actual game (like chapter one). So instead I could of course go the official Danganronpa route. Whip up a little mock trial and such exclusively for a demo. But I'm not comfortable with that, either, as it would detract a significant amount of time I could be spending working on the game itself.

So for the moment, I'm not seriously considering putting out a demo. But perhaps when the game is closer to being released and it's more a matter of me waiting on my beta testers I can whip a little something up. We'll see how it goes, though.

Secondly: I rather enjoy going around and looking at other Danganronpa fan games that are in the works. One thing that struck me about many of them is that a number of them have a full cast of voice actors tied to the projects before the projects even have anything to really show off. I don't really agree with that approach. I think the game should be basically done before you reach out to potential voice actors, as you're getting a little ahead of yourself otherwise. And depending on how long development takes (if the game is ever finished at all) any number of voice actors could drop out, forcing you to start from scratch. But I really have to admire the enthusiasm of the Danganronpa fandom. So of course, I got to thinking "what if Danganronpa Team has voice actors".

There are some problems with that. First of all, these are established characters with established voices. So people may prefer not to have to listen to some random people across the internet voicing them. Along with that, voice acting would severely bloat the game's file size. And of course, recording so many lines and putting them into the game would significantly increase development time.

So, I came up with an idea. Whether or not it goes anywhere is up in the air, but we'll see how things pan out.

My idea is to seriously consider adding voice acting after and only after the game is finished and released. That eliminates all of the problems above. Development time isn't hampered by it. And those who don't give a crap about voice acting could just get the original release at a much more modest file size. Along with that, I'd rather wait and see if people actually like the game before I even consider voice acting. If everyone ends up hating it, well... no real reason to even consider adding in voice acting then, is there? But if people seem to like it, it might be something worth looking into. And of course, if I did end up make a version with voice acting, you would be able to turn the voice acting on or off at any time (in case you think you might like it but end up disliking it).

So those are just two things I've been mulling over recently. Whether or not either of them come to pass is very much so up in the air, but we'll just play it by ear. For now, I'd rather focus on getting the game itself done. But if they do come to pass, hopefully they'll just be cherries on top of an already enjoyable experience for those who are interested in them.

---

That's all I've got to say this time 'round. See you all in February!

Progress Report

Prep Work Is Suffering

Hello once again!

Things are rolling along. Once again, not as quickly as I would like, but they are rolling along. I've been basically doing prep work for the past two or three weeks, and I'll explain what that means. I mentioned an update or two ago that something was in the works for those of you who enjoy the bonus post-game content the Danganronpa games have to offer. I'll spill the beans on that a little bit right now, but I'm not going to get into it very much until the game is out. I want to keep it largely a surprise.

So there's going to be a School Mode in Danganronpa Team. But it won't quite be like the School Modes from past Danganronpas. I plan on working on here and there to give myself a break from working on the main game. It should help me loosen up a bit and prevent me from burning out on working on the main game. On top of that, I don't have to keep School Mode quite as grounded in reality as the main game, so it gives me a chance to get a little more silly and do some really absurd stuff. That being said, what I have planned for it is somewhat expansive. And as it is a different beast than the main game, pretty much everything it uses is unique.

As such, I basically started from scratch. I've spent the past few weeks gathering/creating all the graphical things I will need for it as well as gathering up all the music I need for it. Might as well get the busy work out of the way now rather than later, right? Along with that, I made up the credits for everything I use in the main game as well as in School Mode, which took way longer than I expected. So now if I add anything to the game, I can plop the credit(s) for it right in the game. Nice to have that all set up.

While I was in 'busy work' mode I went ahead and converted all of the songs in the game to the .ogg file extension. Unfortunately, that also took far longer than anticipated. Originally, I tried to batch convert them, but for some reason they came out bigger after I converted them. I knew that couldn't be right, so I tried converting one individually, and it came out smaller. So I ended up converting every single song in the game to .ogg individually. It was a painful process, to say the least. But at least it's over and done with.

Now, I still have some graphical prep work left to do for School Mode, but I'm nearing the finish line as far as that's concerned (thank God). To give you an idea of just how much work has gone into that... I said in the last update that the game had about 1,650 pictures in it and 125 songs. Yeah, both of those numbers have gone way up since then. We're now sitting at approximately 2,250 pictures and 235 songs. Music-wise that's pretty much it. One or two songs might get added between now and the final product but 99% of it is right there, already in the game. On the other hand, I've still got plenty of pictures to make and add to the game. I imagine by the time I'm finished with my prep work that number will be more like 2,450 pictures. And then there's whatever I have to make in the future to consider.

So yeah. The game's gotten big. But I cannot emphasize enough how nice it is to have so much of it done and ready so I don't have to worry about any of this crap later.

Speaking of how big the game's gotten, I just compressed the game data to get an idea of how big of a download it'll turn out to be once the final game is completed. Considering that pictures take up much less space than music, we're probably looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.15 GB to 1.30 GB (it's sitting at 1.04 GB right now). Not terrible for a game with so much freakin' music and so many friggin' pictures.

Now after all that, you're probably thinking "holy heck what the heck is so special about School Mode that it has so much unique stuff devoted to it?!" You'll have to wait to find out. But I do want to emphasize that even though it has a lot of things made/used just for it, it's going to be significantly shorter than the main game. I know that kind of goes without saying, but I think I should just re-emphasize that in spite of the large volume of materials it uses. It will be decently meaty. Probably around 4 to 10 hours long depending on you (how much of it you want to do/see). But that's nowhere close to how long the main game is shaping up to being.

Also, I want to say that the scope of this project is now locked down. School Mode has become a pretty sizable undertaking in its own right, so I want to say for the record that the game isn't getting any bigger than this. There's the main game, and then there's School Mode. That's it. I'm not going to go "well, actually the game could use one more chapter and another bonus mode". Everything has been planned out and finalized. Once both of these things are done, the whole thing's done and I'm finally free.

But real talk, I just hope this ends up being as much fun to play as it has been to make. It's been a struggle from time to time, but I'm doing my best to make this something that lives up to the Danganronpa name.

Now then, the next time I update, I had better have the School Mode prep done as well as the editing I was doing before I switched over to doing prep. This whole part of the process has been going on for way too long. I'm dying to get back to writing new content and making sure that I haven't lost my touch. But I guess we'll see, because I told myself that an update ago, and look where we are now. But in all seriousness, I really am finally nearing the end of this long process. Just gotta push a little more!

Until next time!

Progress Report

Heaps and Heaps of Editing

Hey, everyone! I figured since it's been about a month I oughta give an update on how things are progressing. Honestly, I'm a little behind where I'd like to be (thanks in part to getting addicted to The Evil Within/2) but I've gotten quite a bit of work done in the past month. So let's get into the details of that.

As I said in the last update, I've been editing all that's been made of the game thus far. Implementing different sprites for characters who only had one sprite beforehand, fixing general errors, making stylistical decisions (such as whether or not to use a comma before the word 'too') and ensuring those decisions are a constant throughout the entire game, and upholding other things that should remain constant (such as the honorifics Yukari uses for each character, nicknames characters have for each other, and so forth). That's all been going fairly well. The characters look way more alive and feel much more like real characters with the sprites I've added in. The script seems much more consistent than it did before. Things just in general look a lot better than they did.

Along with that, I did a HECK of a lot of graphical work to prepare for the rest of the game. I put in a bunch of stuff that only comes up in chapters 4, 5, and 6. Just so I don't have to do it later. That's not to say that all the graphics are done. Heck, no. In specific, I still need backgrounds for places that only crop up in chapters 3 and onward, which I'll get together when they come up (no rush there). There's also going to be a bunch of stuff specific to chapter 6 that I'll make as I'm making chapter 6, since it's a little... special.

I've also been getting together a bunch of songs I'm going to use later in the game. That's all done (post-game stuff aside).

That's not all I did. I redid a whole bunch of stuff that was already 'done'. In addition to adding new sprites for existing characters, I cleaned up the sprites on other characters who only have one sprite. I also did a complete re-haul of most of the trial animations. I completely redid the rebuttal, witness testimony, and cross-examination animations. I tweaked the objection, hold it, and take that animations. And I made the showdown animations actual animations with some movement to them (before they were just a still image, now they're comprised of like eleven frames of animation).

The biggest re-haul I did was the evidence selection. Before, I had it so that you could only see the current truth bullet you had selected and you only had one option in regards to changing it. You could cycle to the next bullet in the list. You couldn't see all the bullets you had at once. You had to sift through them one-by-one to find the one you needed. Needless to say, this was really clunky and wasted a lot of the player's time. Now, changing truth bullets looks something more like this:


Note: The names of the pieces of evidence shown here have been censored since I was too lazy to make dummy names for the purposes of this screenshot.

As you can see, you've got that nice little star trail behind the bullet currently selected, along with a glowing outline around the bullet. And you can select bullets in either direction. Up or down. There are a whole bunch of animations associated with this new system of changing evidence, and it turned out looking really cool. It was a pain in the butt to make, though (at one point I was calculating tons of x and y coordinates to make the differences between each frame of animation even).

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!

In trials, I originally gave you four options after the prosecution or whoever gives a statement in the following order: Object, Press a Statement, Cycle (Change) Evidence, Next Statement. That's all fine and dandy, but one of my beta testers pointed out that it's not a good idea to have Objecting be the first option, since if your finger slips you're suddenly stuck with a penalty. So I switched the ordering so that Cycle Evidence is first and Object is the third option. That way, even if you accidentally hit the first option, it won't take long at all to get back to where you want to be.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!

In addition to everything I just said, one of my beta testers once complained that I didn't explain in-game about where to find your health. Before, you had to open the menu in order to look at your health, which makes sense, but... it always bugged me. I always wanted to put some sort of visual representation of your health right there front and center without having to open the menu, but I thought that doing so would clutter up the HUD. And I didn't want to make unnecessary clutter. Well, I thought good and hard about it, and I realized there's a part of the HUD that just sits there. Something that's just for show.

Not anymore.



You see that revolver chamber next to the bullet at the top right of the screen? The one that's crumbling away? That's the new visual representation of your health. As you get penalized, the revolver chamber will lose the rings surrounding it, lose its color, crack, and fall apart. In that order. With this, you don't have to look at the menu anymore to get a general idea of where your health is at. Of course, if you want an exact value, you can still check it on the menu. Now no part of the HUD is just there for show and it's easier than ever to tell how close you are to a game over (without any extraneous clutter)! It's a win-win!

B-BUT WAIT, THERE'S STILL MORE!!!!!!!

I've been using common events for certain things such as objecting, fading a character's sprite out when they leave a scene, and so forth. But I haven't been using them as much as I could be using them. And on top of that, the list of common events was just a mess. There was no order to the common events in there, and there were a bunch that were outdated/never going to be used again. So I put a whole bunch of stuff in common events that wasn't there before and organized everything. This will hopefully make things easier going forward, and it makes the events in trials in particular a lot more readable (those are just a total mess of conditional branches and lord knows what else).

So that's what I've been working on over the past month. As far as editing is concerned, I'm in the middle of editing the first trial. Editing the trial is taking longer than I'd like since the scenes are so long, I have to implement sprites for characters who didn't have multiple sprites before, I have to check every line of text for things that need to be fixed, I need to manually switch the Objection/Cycle Evidence options and everything that goes with them, and I need to re-implement common events and such since I did a total re-haul of the common events (as mentioned above). To give you a general idea, takes around 3-4 hours to edit one rebuttal/cross-examination. So it's a long process. But we're getting there.

That's about it. Sorry if this post isn't written super well, but I'm writing this in the dead of morning when I should be crawling in bed and getting some sleep. But one last fun fact before I go. After all that work I did, the number of pictures (which includes sprites, frames of animation, backgrounds, etc.) in the game is currently sitting at 1,647, whereas the number of songs is currently sitting at 125. Those numbers are only going to grow as development continues (especially with post-game stuff, which is going to seriously inflate those numbers. Those numbers are just crazy. Hard to look at them and fathom that I made and/or added them to the game one-by-one. That seems like a heck of a lot of work! And there's so more to do yet...

Anyways, I'm gonna go get some sleep. Dear God, I'm like a zombie right now. 'Til next time.

Edit: One last thing I forgot to mention. Seeing as I'm not super happy with the amount of progress in the past month (I hoped to be done with editing by now), I'm going to try picking up the pace a little moving forward. After I finish TEW2 and Subahibi (a visual novel I'm reading in the mornings before bedtime right now), I'm going to try to resist the temptation to start anything else and instead try to focus on DR Team. So we'll see how that goes.
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