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Progress Report

Where do we go from here?

Hello again, everyone!

It's been two months since I released Chapter 1 of Crescent Prism so it's probably about time for an update about where this project is going.

I could sum this up in either three sentences or ten paragraphs and frankly, I won't know how this blog will turn out until I finish typing it. So let's see where this all goes.

As I've stated in a previous blog, Crescent Prism was put aside for a while in order to work on Brave Hero Yuusha EX, a commercial remake of an older game of mine. Due to a number of changes in my work life, Crescent Prism was proving to be too ambitious for my increasingly sparse amount of free time that I had to work on games in general.

Yuusha was a much smaller-scale project that felt right at the time. I figured that with the modest success of Soma Spirits' commercial release, a spruced up version of Yuusha seemed like the most logical way to follow up on that. Work began on Yuusha in the late summer of last year and it felt exciting to work on a new version of my first truly original game. And while it felt amazing to give an overhaul to my favorite project, there were a number of signs that everything wasn't quite going to go how I expected it to.

Public interest in the game seemed to have a fairly slow start. And there were a number of guesses that I could wager as to why. Maybe people hadn't really noticed it yet. Maybe it would just take a little while for the game to catch peoples' eyes, especially with how exponentially more crowded the gamedev scene had become in the two short years between Soma and Yuusha. I eyed the numbers carefully... compared to Soma, Yuusha's performance on Twitter and Tumblr was rather bleak and tended to pull in single-digit metrics. Even evidenced on RMN, Yuusha EX's game page only garneed 15 subscribers compared to the original's 63.



It was apparent in the months leading up to EX's release that the launch was going to be a quiet one. And somewhere in that time, it became clear that a Dragon Quest-inspired game like Yuusha just didn't have much of an audience. The game's launch came and went, and while I did have support from friends old and new, it wasn't quite like what I experienced with Soma Spirits and what that game meant to me when I was developing it, and how it helped me through once of the most bleak periods of my life.

For a while after Yuusha, I felt disappointed that it never really found its niche and fell into a bit of a slump. It was around that time that I began to think about why I was making games in the first place. I realized that, following the modest success of Soma Spirits, I placed too much emphasis on numbers and metrics. On units and likes and retweets.

That is not the kind of creator I want to be. I am a hobbyist at heart and I don't aspire to be anything more than that.

So I pulled myself back up and started cleaning up Chapter 1 of Crescent Prism, which was released for free two months ago. It was a similarly quiet release. But the difference this time was that I told myself that this is okay. That as long as I'm making games for myself, and making even just making a few people happy, I think I'm doing the right thing and should keep going. Even if it's something I don't have the time or ability to pour my heart into like I used to just a couple of years ago.



I also decided that Crescent Prism would not be developed with a commercial release in mind for the time being, and whether or not that changes down the road is a decision I do not intend to make for a good long while. It's a hobby project that I can work on here and there when I have the time; one that I do not want to bound myself to deadlines. Or fight the internal struggle of putting a price on my work: something that never gets any easier and I have no idea how freelance creators can do this no problem.

Crescent Prism is a game that will be there for me. For a hobby and to have a big goal to work towards. Even if Soma Spirits ultimately ends up being the game I'm known for, Crescent Prism will always be my big one. And I hope it will be there for you all someday, too.

It just might, yknow, be a while.

Announcement

v1.1.0 released! New difficulty modes!

UPDATE: v1.1.1 hotfix added, to address the Exp Lock not working as intended.

Crescent Prism Chapter 1 has been updated to v1.1.0! This patch adds new difficulty modes, along with a few other fixes. If you like options, then this is the version for you!



Full list of changes:

New difficulty modes have been added:
- Easy mode makes all enemies easier.
- Hard mode makes all enemies more difficult. You will also gain 50% less EXP from non-boss encounters once you've hit the encounter threshold for a given area, and 66% when above it.
- You can switch between Easy and Normal at any time in the System Menu. Hard mode may only be selected at the start of the game and cannot be changed once the game has started.
NOTE: If you import save files from versions 1.0.2 or earlier, they will be set to Normal mode by default.

Changes and fixes:
- Fixed some mapping errors.
- The threshold for skipping enemy encounters is now determined by the party's average level rather than the party leader's level.
- You can now toggle battle animations from the system menu.
- Fixed that one missing pixel in the status effect bubbles because everyone in the Discord told me to.

v1.1.1:
- The Exp Lock should now work as intended.
- EXP Lock and Money Lock are now granted to you at the start of Chapter X1.

Announcement

v1.0.1 Released

Hey everyone! I've released a small update to the game that addresses a few small issues. Updating is not mandatory if you are playing on v1.0, but save files can be transferred over if ou so wish.

This patch makes the following changes:

- Fixed some spelling errors and skill descriptions.
- The Astra skill Calm Mind now has an animation.
- Fixed some map passability errors.
- The second rock puzzle in the mines should now reset correctly when the reset switch is pressed. v1.0 players can still reset this puzzle properly if they leave the room.

Outstanding bugs to fix:

- Some players have reported that the F8 half window size option does not work.
- (Spoiler-related bug below)
Fluoros' Heal More and Restore skill exit the menu when used outside of battle.

Announcement

Chapter 1 completed!

hey gamers

The first chapter of Crescent Prism has been completed and is available for download! This will take you through the first part of Lunita's adventure as she meets some weird friends, even weirder foes, and pets a dog at one point I think. Maybe.



I hope everyone enjoys this release! And as always, feel free to leave your thoughts and feedback.

Progress Report

The Big Hiatus Talk - Where Do Things Stand?

Crescent Prism... Oh, what happened to this project of mine? As some of this game's subscribers may have noticed, production status was changed to Hiatus some time ago and there hasn't been much of an update since then. And now that Brave Hero Yuusha EX is done and released, I was quite surprised that a few folks have been asking me how this project is coming along.

So I'm here to talk to you all today about that, where it stands, and where it's going.

What caused the hiatus?

I originally started developing this game sometime after Soma Spirits was finished, sometime in late 2016. It wasn't much more than a vague prototype by the time I put it aside to work on the commercial version of Soma, and I would ultimately return to it the following summer after I had a better idea of what kind of game I wanted it to be. And to delve into my personal life somewhat: it was also around that time that I found myself out of work for a while, and I was able to direct my full attention to developing my "big one". Over the next six months, I managed to release a demo and then finish the rest of Chapter 1 thereafter.



I did find work again eventually, and by winter time development slowed down somewhat. After a few months, I was eventually given a full time position (hooray!) but that also meant that my time and ability to work on the game would quickly fade. And, well, sorry to say that as fun as making games is, it just doesn't pay the bills. Crescent Prism was soon something I'd only work on during the weekends. Yet I found myself rushing through it, hoping to get as much done on this as I could before I wouldn't have the time to work on it anymore.

Chapter 2 was ultimately finished as well, and groundwork for Chapter 3 was well underway, but due to a number of factors there was a noticeable drop in overall quality compared to Chapter 1. As one playtester put it, Chapter 2 felt like an "infodump chapter" and with the numerous pacing issues present in both the narrative and gameplay, I'm inclined to agree.

The number of changes I needed to make to bring everything up to par, as well as the time issue and the overly ambitious scope of Crescent Prism as a whole, caused me to put the project aside in July 2018. And then I set to work on Yuusha EX, a much more manageable and smaller-scale project.

What changes need to be made?

Only recently have I re-opened the project files and assessed what needs to be done and there are quite a few changes I want to make to both the narrative and game mechanics. I'm also looking at overhauling the gameplay for Chapter 2 entirely, for as it stands right now, at least two of the three dungeons within it just feel like corridors with encounters.

Before anything else, I need to sit down, re-evaluate the things that are noticeably lacking, and get everything organized.

When will development resume?

I know some developers who might say "Yeah, my game is totally still in development!" and by that they mean they work on it for 20 minutes a week and drip-feed vague updates for years. I guess that's just the general way of things in indie development, but for a 10+ hour RPG like Crescent Prism, I don't think that kind of development cycle is going to fly.

Only when I know I can dedicate more time to it will I be able to say it's back in development. But for now, I'd rather not make promises considering I've already put the project aside twice already from burnout.



Deep down though, I know casting the entire project aside would be foolhardy. And I don't think I could live myself if I looked at this half of a game, that I've already put two years into, and let it sit there forever. I looked at everything I had and I miss writing these characters and developing this world. More than anything, I want Crescent Prism to see the light of day. I just don't know when this will happen, but I truly hope it does.

Now for some good news!

Many of the changes I need to make, outside of core changes to the gameplay, are in Chapter 2 onwards. I've given a lot of consideration to polishing up Chapter 1 and releasing it as a free standalone. I can't make any promises about when this will happen, it will take very little time compared to the bigger-scale changes and the rest of the game's development. So keep an eye on this blog for news regarding that.

Thank you all so much for continuing to follow my games and believing in these stories. I hope to have more information for you soon.

Progress Report

Middle of June Update - Plans going forward!

I have a few updates for all you good folks out there on this lovely internet! Today, I wanted to talk a bit about this project's development and what it will be like going forward.

Up until now in Crescent Prism's development, I have been lucky enough to commit a substantial amount of time to the project, though this is mostly due to being in and out of employment regularly. For the last six months in particular, I had only been working part-time, so I was able to dedicate several days a week to Crescent Prism.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have had my hours increased at work, and may become full-time soon. This is great for a lot of reasons, but this also means two things:

1. I won't have as much time to work on the game, which means development is going to slow down a bit.

BUT

2. I'll be able to work on the game more comfortably, and will have the ability to continue regularly commissioning music and other assets I need. Which is good because I have been hoping to self-fund any of those extras I need and did not want to turn to any sort of crowdfunding.

So since I have a more stable outlook of what I can do going forward, here are a couple of development aspects I'm trying to put on solid ground:

Timeframe

As of now, Chapter 1 and 2 are finished, and work on Chapter 3 is already underway. My ultimate going for 2018 is to have Chapter 3 and at least half of Chapter 4 finished by the end of the year. I am TENTATIVELY looking at the first half of 2019 for release, but as with all of my projects, "It's done when it's done" and I won't be committing myself to an exact month or date until near the end.

That said, it's really just about building content and making additional assets at this point. The battle system, mechanics, etc are all established. Mostly everything is planned out in some capacity, and it's just a matter of, well, doing it.

Commercialism

This has been on my mind since the project started and though I've gone back and forth on this a few times, it's always been "leaning yes". I've been feeling more and more inclined to make Crescent Prism a commercial game. As to what capacity, such as price point, I have yet to determine. But I figure since I already have Soma Spirits on Steam, there's no reason not to give it the ol' college try. So from this point on, Crescent Prism will be filed under C for Commercial.

--------------

So things are still looking a fair ways off! But I hope you'll all continue to follow Crescent Prism in the coming months.

Progress Report

Chapter 2 complete. Golly gee!

When you really buckle down on something, you get a lot done. And it's with great relief that the first major pass at Chapter 2 is complete.

Though the game itself is not episodic, I've been approaching Crescent Prism's development chapter by chapter, meaning that I do virtually everything for an entire block's worth of content. Assets, battles, story scenes, you name it. As of today, Chapter 2 is largely done, minus some cleanup, a good round of proofreading, and replacing some placeholders that need to be fleshed out, most notably a few key character sprites and full-screen story slides.

As it stands now, the end of Chapter 2 is already averaging playtest times that are longer than a single playthrough of Soma Spirits. I guess when you go in for your "big" game, you really go all-in.

It's been quite a journey developing this game, and getting to the halfway (with an asterisk) mark is very exciting.

Let's keep going! (Well, maybe after some rest)

Progress Report

"It doesn't feel like the end of April" Progress Report

So we're already, like, halfway through the Spring. How did that happen?

So anyways, here's our old friend The Chart.



The second town and fourth dungeon area are now finished and fully functional. This includes all of the story and cutscenes that lead up to this point in the game. Dungeons 5 and 6 are mapped and evented, and encounters are halfway developed for each.

As I've mentioned before, the second town area is the largest city in the game, and plenty of events will be happening here, so I expect to be going back to touch this up quite a bit more as development progresses.

I've also been working on a few additional new gameplay features to give players more options.



The Remind Me Gem can be picked up at the start of the game and will sit comfortably in your key items just in case you need a reminder of what to do next. Personally, I'm trying to use things like quest markers as little as possible, but if you've been away from the game for a little while and are stumped as to what it is you're supposed to do, the Remind Me Gem should prove useful!

My goal is to have the whole of Chapter 2 finished by the summer time, and to start Chapter 3 in the latter half of the year. Since I'm only working part time at the moment, I've had extra time to dedicate to developing the game and hope to have the larger majority of its content finished by the year's end.

That's all for today! Let's keep going!

Announcement

New Name, Same ol' Game!



So it looks like The Project Formerly Known As Crescent Eve has gotten a bit of a renaming! Say hello to Crescent Prism.

Giving this project a new name has been on a docket for some time, since I felt that the old name didn't quite play into the story as much as I had envisioned. While the term "Crescent Eve" does have a role in the plot, Crescent Prism more accurately reflects the themes of this project, which encompass both the moon and the many different colors of light.

Anyways, hope you guys like the new name. Let me know what you think!

Progress Report

The Middle-Of-Gatdang-March Progress Report

After a successful round of Chapter 1 testing late last month (a big special Thank You to my testers!), I'm excited to to have started work on Chapter 2 and have made a surprising amount of progress on such! Let's take a look at our friend The Chart to see where things are at.



This might look a little bit confusing! So let me explain what exactly it is I have done:

Town 2: I more or less have the features and planned facilities for this area laid out, but have not started on a tileset or most of the NPC graphics for it. This area is the largest city in the game and quite a bit happens here, so it will take some time to build.

Dungeons 4-6: The tilesets, monsters, encounters, and functionality of these areas are mostly complete and playable. However, it's worth noting that nothing beyond their gameplay has been done, meaning no cutscenes, story, etc have been put into the game yet. Once the second town area is completed, I'll be able to string them all together as intended.

Regardless, things are going smoothly and I expect to be finished with Chapter 2 sometime around June. But it's done when it's done!
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