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Caz

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Caz last won the day on September 26

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    Jarred
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  1. ~ These are excerpts from a post on our Patreon - you can find the full post there ~ ~ Looking back... for the last time ~ Once again, we find ourselves at the end of an extremely busy and productive month. We are all working incredibly hard to pull things together, and are now deep into internal testing! Most of our efforts have been focused on bringing past content up to par with E6, and we're really happy with how things are going. This update will be more of what we saw in the last update... so we can probably call this update part 2 of that. So yeah, expect loads of screenshots without much of my yammering on. _________________________________________________________________ Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (100%) #################### | Script Updates (90%) #################### | Past Episode Remasters (100%) #################### | Misc (95%) -------------------------------------------------- New Content: #################### | Story (95%) #################### | Mapping (98%) #################### | Scripting (95%) #################### | Sidequests (100%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (97%) _________________________________________________________________ Important PSA: The Future of Content Remakes To begin, I need to discuss a topic that I see thrown around pretty frequently - that is, how frequently I will be remaking early game content, and what this means for your current save. I have heard some players wonder if it's worth replaying from the beginning, and even some players consider waiting until the full release of the game (in however many years that is). Firstly, my philosophy around remaking early game content is similar to how I approach life in general, and my work as a junior doctor in a large city hospital - I don't like wasting time - whether it be my own time or others. As a result, there are two rules I wish to follow: 1) Do not waste the player's time. 2) Do not force the player to restart the game unless absolutely necessary. To be clear, I do not like remaking content. I am a forward-focused person who wants to focus on the future as much as possible. I am only remaking the early game of Desolation as it is severely outdated in comparison to later in the game, and because I needed to address certain character issues that I was not satisfied with. This is the culmination of years of feedback and is an opportunity to finally give a more balanced experience to players. My goal was to do this remake ONCE, and to leave it at that - and I am sticking with that. To clear any animosity around this discussion, I will create a short FAQ: 1) Will there be more large remakes in the future? A) No. Of course, there will be some fine-tuning, etc. that is present in each episode, but there will be no more significant changes. As I said, I only want to do something like this ONCE. 2) Should I wait until the game is fully released to play? A) This is up to you, but I believe that equal enjoyment comes from playing the game episodically or continuously. I write episodes to be fairly standalone (while still contributing to the overall plot) so that each episode feels fun and unique. Furthermore, Desolation is planned to be ten episodes in total - so it would be a LONG time until the full release. For me, creating Desolation is a journey that I would very much like others to undertake with me! 3) Should I restart my save from scratch? A) My number one goal was to not waste the player's time. This means that you DO NOT need to restart your save from scratch. There have been significant changes in the story and how characters go from A to B, but the end result is the same. This means that you are not at a disadvantage if you do not restart. That being said, if you were looking to start again, this would be the time to do it as I have no intention of making any more large-scale remakes. I hope this summarizes my thoughts on content remakes, and I hope this clears up how you should proceed with your future playthroughs. I hope everyone continues to undertake this journey with me! PS: This segment has been added to the FAQ if you want to double check anything. Speaking of Content Remakes... Now, back to our regular schedule. The team has been working really hard to wrap up our early game remakes, and we have made excellent progress thus far. In fact, all MAJOR work has been done - simply leaving fine-tuning of the later episodes over the next couple of weeks to fully complete this work. While this has been going on, the team has begun internal testing to iron out whatever bugs we find along the way. It's a lot of work... but we're making great progress, and the results are now speaking for themselves. We're covering all bases - from dialogue to graphical improvements, to eventing changes, new effects, etc. The goal is to go through it once and make a more complete experience for new players. One of the major remakes is that of Route 4, and the Blackview Outskirts, which have both been completely remade from scratch. The northernmost part of Route 4 offers a slight reprieve before witnessing the effects of Blackview's waste... The middle and south portions of Route 4 illustrate a marked change in the environment, as you enter the neglected outskirts of Blackview... Finally, you make your way through the smog-ridden slums of Blackview, before finally entering the city itself. You find yourself in the midst of radical industrialization, with the smog raining neatly down on you as a reminder that nothing here will ever be the same... But hey, at least we finally have signs marking major locations in the city! Amelia's had a bit of a facelift, along with the location we meet her in... Aurora has also entered the development scene... with a brand new facelift! We continue to work to optimize Gym Battles and team-balancing (Posty is suffering). Not to mention brand new field effects to go along with them... And finally... the creation of brand new scenes! All of these new additions have been completed already! Healing in Style! That's not all when it comes to remakes, however... because boy, Ruby, and Crim have been busy! What if I told you that our brilliantly talented artists decided to sit down and re-create every city and town healing center in the game? Or would it be better if I just showed you a few... but not all, of course! 1) Redcliff Town 2) Route 2 and Celeste City 3) Blackview City 4) Cellia Central and Docks 5) Cellia East Ruby, framing the picture... As discussed in the previous update, Ruby has also worked on numerous menu frames for E6. Let's show off a few, yeah? Maybe I'll even show off in some new locations... 1) Cellia (Central/Dockside) 2) Cellia (East) 3) Dreamscape 4) Crescent That's all I really planned on sharing in terms of remake content for this episode. How about we round this update out with some tracks from Darius? Making puns or alliteration for Darius tracks is too hard, so I'll take this month off... No, seriously. It's difficult. Anyway, any good development update requires some news from our main beat dropper, Darius. Again, just click on the hyperlink if you're keen for a listen! Once again, there's an extra track on our Patreon up for listening (the new Ranger's Theme) - so if you feel like you're wanting some more tracks - you can find them on our Patreon! Again, just click on the hyperlink if you're keen for a listen! ~ Crescent Theme ~ you can click on the hyperlink above to listen to the track! "This was also a really difficult piece for me to get down. With my school picking back up a couple weeks ago, I found myself having less and less time to compose which really bothered me because I knew exactly where I wanted to go with this piece, I just needed to actually sit down and write it. If I had to describe this theme for Team Crescent in one word, it'd be "sleuthy" (which I don't actually think is a world but I digress) and one of its prominent features is the stacking drum rhythm. Stacking refers to an ostinato (recurring theme) that builds in complexity as the piece continues, and in this case, it is utilized to signal the String quartet that supports the melodic pattern. This theme takes a great deal of inspiration from Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C# minor" - highly recommend taking a listen btw, Rach is one of my favorite Romantic composers - especially in the middle section of the piece which follows a similar chromatic sequence. You may recognize the initial drum pattern as well which I wrote in reference to Pokemon Reborn's Peridot Ward Theme! Unlike the Ranger theme, Team Crescent is very string focused which is exemplified during the string soli interlude. This piece was an absolute joy to write and although they were a little skeptical about my vision at first, they ended up really liking the compositional liberties and overall feel of the piece, so I thank them for their trust in me. Super excited to see where this one gets implemented, and thank you if you have made it this far. Until next time!" That basically rounds out this month's content drop. As I have said, we are deep into internal testing, which means that other forms of testing, including Patreon Alpha Testing, are just over the horizon. We're almost there, it's just taking a little longer than I originally planned. Remember, the main takeaway from this post is that this will be the last major remake and that even despite this, you still don't need to restart your save, even though it may be encouraged. The content remakes should be finished over the next couple of weeks, which will leave us with numerous chores to complete before we are ready to extend our testing circle. Please bear with us as we try to finish things up - we're working as fast as we can! As usual - if you feel like supporting us as we approach the finish line, want to see some extra sneak peeks, or are keen to get involved in testing when it starts, find us over at our Patreon! Once again, thank you for the support. Caz
  2. ~ These are excerpts from a post on our Patreon - you can find the full post there ~ ~ Who said you can't change the past? ~ Welcome back to this month's update, where we rewrite history. Well, at least the history for this game. In my opinion, this month has doubtlessly been the most productive, grindy month of E6's development. It's been a lot, that's for sure. This update will feature an in-depth look at early game area remakes, Ruby's idea processes being these graphical advancements, and of course, some tunes by Darius' to keep you interested while you read through. Let's get underway, shall we? For completion, here's some bars. I need to highlight however that, due to our plans for past content changing dramatically this month - these bars don't really resemble what kind of work was done. _________________________________________________________________ Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (99%) #################### | Script Updates (90%) #################### | Past Episode Remasters (80%) #################### | Misc (95%) -------------------------------------------------- New Content: #################### | Story (95%) #################### | Mapping (98%) #################### | Scripting (90%) #################### | Sidequests (100%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (95%) _________________________________________________________________ Now, let's get started on the real update... A Fresh Start Last month was of course a huge milestone for us, as we ticked off the final side-quest of the episode. As I have iterated on numerous occasions, it was imperative for me to find ways to reward exploration in a more open landscape for this episode, and thus it was important to create numerous engaging, yet concise stories throughout both Cellia and wider Ayrith. This episode has really helped me sharpen my story-writing skills overall, which leads us to, well... an interesting and very intense month of development. The next task on my to-do list was to trawl through the early game and make improvements to the dialogue, the events, and the overall flow of the story. So it was obviously time to get started on a new save, right? I loaded up the game, picked my character, and started a new adventure. And, well... that didn't last for very long. Whether the quality of the early game simply wasn't that great by any standards, or if it's just that my personal standards have risen substantially, it didn't take me long to realize that the early-game just wasn't working for me anymore. A simple re-tool was not going to be enough to reach the quality threshold I'm aiming for. Thus, I reached a crossroads - do I continue to keep fine-tuning a broken set of events, or do I simply smash it to smithereens, and make something that can actually work? So there I was... completely remaking the early game from scratch. Oops. S/O to Crim, once again, for these incredible cruise ship tiles! Yes, what was originally meant to be a dialogue tune-up with some slightly better eventing has turned into a complete rework in the early game. Of course, this has been extremely time-consuming for everyone involved, and this has certainly pushed back my gauge of how close release for this episode is, even if only slightly. However, I have no doubt that this update is absolutely essential to this game. It is no secret that the quality of Desolation seemingly improves as you progress, but I have always wanted players who are just entering the game for the first time to have a true sense of what they're getting into... and this update is our first real shot to pull this off. Consistency is key, y'know? This early-game update project features completely remade dialogue, events, and maps. It introduces different sets of characters at different times, and sets up future events much earlier within the story. When I went about rewriting these early game events, I did so with the intention of tying the game into a more culminative experience, as opposed to what is currently numerous plot threads that don't hold together as well as they could. My other objective with these rewrites was to offer more development and continuity for characters that sorely required them. I won't disclose which characters I'm talking about in particular, but critics of the early game will have no difficulty in inferring some of the changes I have made. What does this mean for development time? Well, with full transparency... it means a little bit, I guess? I suspected the remake project would initially take a few weeks, but when I completely shifted how much I ACTUALLY wanted to do, it became apparent that it was no small feat, and more time was required. I have been working extremely hard this last month on the re-imagination of these early areas, but I still haven't completed the work I want, and there is still much to be done. I suspect this pushes things back a few more weeks, but it's impossible to say exactly how long this will take. Once again, I am extremely proud of what the team has accomplished for this episode, and I believe that these remakes are essential to guarantee a more even quality bar throughout the game. I want everything that Desolation offers to be appreciated, and not just the new content. I am so excited for you guys to see what this remastered game has to offer. Now, I could ramble on and on about my reasoning for undertaking such a large ordeal, but I'm sure that based on my previous comments, no one is surprised by this decision at all. So instead, I'll just throw up some of the reworked areas for you, with some brief thoughts by yours truly. It's a little cozier with Connor by the campfire than you might previously remember. Can't remake his attitude, I'm afraid. That's your job as the player, after all. We figured it'd be nice if you could actually, you know, see which starter you want to spend the rest of the game with. Unless you store it in a PC and never look at it again. Kuiki's "villagers" have certainly seen a glow-up, but are more hostile than ever. Shiv still knows how to act all dark and mysterious. No one could cure that. At least the huts look, you know... ALMOST livable. Croagunk is still alive... for now :) It even got a new cave for you to steal it from. We decided that the cave was in some need of a glow-up, but it didn't get much brighter, I'm afraid. And how about a VASTLY improved Beamer Grid! For Ruby to become an unstoppable force, all I needed to say was "purple". Just thought I'd give you some evidence that battles do in fact work... mostly. Yumil has been hard at work in overhauling the game's scripts in conjunction with the Reborn team, and I'm super stoked with how things are shaping up under the hood. Here's a quick look at the new aesthetic of Route 2. It's cooler, calmer, sharper, and matches well with the personality of this area's Gym Leader, Aderyn. That's not to mention the new and improved Rangers Guild... Which clearly had some more money thrown into it. I'm sure the Ranger's aren't complaining. Finally, that takes us to Celeste City, which has had a significant redesign to be far more in keeping with the personality of its Gym Leader, who is hiding at the bottom of that second screenshot. Long story short, Ruby has done some tremendous work on redesigning these areas, and looking back and admiring the difference is really astonishing. While I am confident, I can only hope that my story recreations are up to the quality bar that Ruby establishes with the art. And that pretty much sums up what I want to show from the remake project so far. Once again, this is an enormous undertaking, and I am dedicating huge amounts of time to completing it in a timely fashion. Now... with that stuff out of the way, let's see what others have to say, yeah? A word from our sponsor, Ruby's Clinic, by Ruby herself.. Well, you've heard enough from me. I couldn't feature such a huge graphical overhaul without Ruby herself talking a bit about it, right? Take it away! "Hi, I am back once more and have been in a predicament ever since the start of this month. I've run out of things to do :) Ok not necessarily, but anything I had to do for E6 and polishes of my own work I've long since finished. You've seen plenty of my sprite revamps, but late last month I also finished polishing up, like, all the old character art. That was painful but I'm probably an overly self-critical masochist bc I switched art programs while working on the old art and have a new pc that doesn't have that old art app so I had to draw over the old pics cuz I can't access the files now lol... but i did it anw. At least I'm happy with the art now \o/ Oh yeah, those will all be updated during the release of E6 so you guys gotta wait i'm sowwy ANYWAY. Out of stuff that I didn't really need to do but went looking for like a lil gremlin cuz I love working on deso to a fault (debatable), I hope you all love the new frames I made,, it took a lot of trial and error bc it's weird how they work and idk how to explain so have fun with that? Anyway, like Reborn based some(?) of their dialogue/menu frames off of their gym leaders, I decided a fun lil thing to do would be to make them based on some of our locations in-game as well as key, uhh.... story things? Some of which include, the Dreamscape, the Cellia branches (that differ a lot), as well as some lowkey frames based on the two major teams~ Besides that, lately I've been working on some map recolorings to simply polish them up! The ones I've done atm have more reasoning, but I'm planning on doing some more before the ep drop. I thought that Celeste could use a teeny recolor since at the moment, most of the leaders and the places they reside in correspond to their aesthetic/type while Celeste was like a generic town lol. Thus, I also did Route 2 to fit. The same is said for the MC's manor, which was previously occupied by Nova, so I tried to make it fit her color scheme more! And to tie it all together, I've made a couple custom buildings cuz wtf I enjoy tileset work now??? who am i. Anyway, while working on Route 2 it felt like the old rangers building was staring at me threateningly so I had enough, destroyed it and painted over its corpse. That's not even all the old big buildings I've nuked lol. I also edited and mapped out the interior of them to fit the exterior~ Omg I almost forgot- So, the Beamer Grid is insane now? I just like galaxy neon stuff and purple. Funny coming from me who goes by RubyRed, huh? Caz actually had me take a look at that and I thoroughly enjoyed making it Extra As Hell but it was worth it~ It was his idea anyway to make it starry galaxy-like but I went overboard as I do with anything I work on hehe. Also, since it's called the Beamer "grid" I added a lil grid-like pattern to make it stick out more~ Okok ty all for reading this way too long segment about what I've been up to. I'll continue to uh..... look for more things to do until I can't and drive myself insane probably, but I hope at least it'll be pretty and colorful~ I'm looking forward to what you all think!" Yeah, so Ruby pretty much just went crazy and overhauled everything. You know how it is. I don't know where we'd be without her. DJ Darius dropping some beats... A blog update would not be complete without some beats for the man himself, Darius. I hope your ears are ready. Once again, there's an extra track on our Patreon up for listening (the new Cellia Council theme) - so if you feel like you're wanting some more tracks - you can find them on our Patreon! Again, just click on the hyperlink if you're keen for a listen! ~ Black Foxes Theme ~ you can click on the hyperlink above to listen to the track! "This theme is all focused on the buildup. From the first interaction you have with the Foxes, they seem like an ordinary street gang, but as you progress through the story, you realized how organized and intentional they are. The Saw Synthesizer playing runs throughout helps to tie the chord progression together, which is completely necessary considering how the chords are filled with crunchy, clashing diminished, and augmented tonalities. The horns in the background are also significant, ripped straight from Pokemon R/S/E. They help the music swell and work well to reverberate during the intense sections. The oboe is the lone wolf (or should I say fox) in this tune, as it is the only woodwind melody throughout. Oboes have an interesting timbre because they are woodwind instruments but are also reed-ed like saxophones. This makes the sound quality sound much more nasally and gives the tune some sophistication instead of a wishy-washy flute sound. I can't wait for you all to see where this theme gets used in-game! Thanks for reading my ramblings." Well, that pretty much wraps up this month's update. After this remake business is complete, we'll just have to sprinkle on the finishing touches, and then we'll be pretty much done. I'm so excited for everyone to play what we have created. The team has worked so hard over the last month, and the payoff is incredible. To a large degree, Desolation has been remade from the ground up, and I can't wait to see all of your reactions. As usual - if you feel like supporting us as we approach the finish line, want to see some extra sneak peeks, or are keen to get involved in testing when it starts, find us over at our Patreon! Until next time, Caz
  3. ~ These are excerpts from a post on our Patreon - you can find the full post there ~ ~ The King of the Jungle ~ Welcome back to our monthly shenanigans - this will be a fun one! This update will focus on my progress with the final sidequests of the episode, as well as looks into Ruby's work remaking characters and areas, a music drop from Darius, and finally... the reveal of a major character entering in Episode 6! Previous updates have drawn us into the outer areas of Ayrith, but now, as we get closer to release... it's time to start back at the heart of this episode - the nightlife jungle known as Cellia East. Let's get underway, shall we? Bars. _________________________________________________________________ Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (99%) #################### | Script Updates (85%) #################### | Misc (90%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (91%) New Content: #################### | Story (95%) #################### | Mapping (98%) #################### | Scripting (85%) #################### | Sidequests (100%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (95%) _________________________________________________________________ An expansive world, with many stories to be told... This month, I have been wrapping up the final sidequests of E6. It's well-known at this point that E6 is focusing heavily on exploration, and using side content as a medium to deliver concepts relevant to the main story. I've always wanted sidequests to feel as though they can stand alone as stories, but utilizing the greater concepts in Desolation to make these stories even more immersive is something that I've really leaned into in E6. Of course, this also allows me to experiment with numerous recurring characters that have been, for the most part, absent from the main storyline... Bringing these characters forward into these new areas and allowing them to develop further has been really great in E6 - and I'm looking forward to seeing how things move forward with them in the future. It's also been fantastic to see how characters originally intended to have minimal time on the screen have been given their own two feet to stand on, especially by being bumped up by Ruby's artistic expertise. Case and point is this guy. Admittedly, it has taken me longer than I intended to wrap up these longer sidequests. Of course, telling the stories I want to tell often ends in these quests being longer than originally planned, leading to longer development times. However, it's paramount to me that I'm satisfied with each story told within this world, so it's worth the wait! A Fresh Coat of Paint Even cities as large and expansive as Cellia sometimes require a fresh coat of paint, and Ruby has been pretty busy making sure things hold up. One of our aims was to improve immersion as much as possible within these cities, and one of the most important ways to do this was to extend graphical overhauls into the gameplay itself, namely, battles. As such, Ruby has designed a selection of new backdrops for all our Ayrith cities! Yes, the Popplio is called Bidoof, don't ask. This is Cellia East's new battle backdrop, which I am happy to say has achieved the goal of really immersing the player in the realm of the district. As usual, Ruby has really smashed it with the colors and overall aesthetic. Here is the backdrop for Blackview, paired with its new counterpart, just so you can see how sorely these updates were required... Even small updates like this have been paramount in improving immersion in Ayrith's major cities, so I'm really happy with Ruby's work in bringing these areas to life. The remakes of course extend past battle backdrops, as you've seen from numerous previous updates. With complete character redesigns, other parts of the game have also required a redesign. For example, here is the new intro screen with Ruby's Rosetta redesign... I hope you're excited to be welcomed to Cellia (again)! The King of the Jungle! Now, finally, for what everyone has been waiting for... the reveal of one of our new major characters, the King of the Cellia Jungle, and the Gym Leader of Cellia East, Reeve! Meet Reeve, Cellia East's most historical entrepreneur turned excessive partygoer and Gym Leader. Reeve embodies what it means to live in Cellia East - he is cool, calm, and collected, but absolutely LIVES for the party. He owns Cellia's most prestigious fashion brand, Surge, and partially owns Cellia East's flagship nightclub, Bar 101. Anyone that's anyone knows who Reeve is... from the lowest thugs in the Cellia Outskirts, all the way to the businessmen and women of the Cellia Council... for better or for worse. What this dynamic entrepreneurial tycoon has to offer you, however, remains to be seen. Perhaps there is more to Reeve than meets the eye... after all, his past is riddled by obscurity... Reeve is absolutely one of our crowning achievements of this episode, and we're extremely excited for you to meet him. It's been a long time coming for him to finally reach the community spotlight... but in Ayrith, he's been in the spotlight of the nightlife for a long, long time... DJ Darius' Delicious Desolation Delicacies I don't know why I referred to music as delicious but it's too late for me to turn back now. Just own it. Whatever the case, Reeve wasn't going to sneak his way into this update without showing off one of his beats, was he? On our Patreon, Darius also shows off Ryder's new theme - so head along there if you want to give that a listen! Let's hear DJ Darius describe the meaning behind the music himself, yeah? Remember, you can just click the name of the track to have a listen! ~ Reeve's Theme ~ you can click on the hyperlink above to listen to the track! "Reeve’s theme was much more difficult for me than I had anticipated. When I originally wrote this, I was thinking of a way to make it fit in with the already existing theme for Cellia East, which is why the two tracks are in the same key. However, as I developed this piece further, it became clear that I needed some historical allusions to bring it together. This piece is a prime example of 1950s jazz music and the runs throughout the alto & tenor saxophone are distant quotes from, the Legend himself, John Coltrane. Reeve is a star and stars deserve some flourish and glamor. The repeating bassline and chord progression are based on Latin Jazz harmony and similar examples can be found in modern tango music among other things which makes you want to throw your hands up and dance! This is Cellia East, and it’s time to party! Reeve is here to make sure you’re having a good time. After all, celebrities’ personalities are entirely based on their public image right? It’s not like there’s anything else he’s feeling behind the scenes…" That essentially brings us to the end of this update. All hands are on deck, and I am extremely proud of how hard the team is working to bring everything together. I know people are hoping for a release date to be announced, but in a project such as this, where every element is essentially being remade from scratch (from the gameplay and scripting side - LITERALLY from scratch), the moving parts make it difficult to truly predict when the game will be ready for testing. This uncertainty makes nothing concrete - and without this reassurance, I am not comfortable in announcing a release timeframe, as above all else, the wellbeing of the team is my absolute top priority. The content that I am now revealing, however, should be a reasonable hint at how close we are to wrapping up. Testing will start when it starts, and if you're a patron to Desolation, you will have the first opportunity to get involved and immerse yourself in the story (as well as seeing some other goodies)! We're grinding our way to the finish, and it has been so fantastic seeing the teams' reactions to some of the things we have created. One last push, yeah? Until next time, Caz
  4. ~ These are excerpts from a post on our Patreon - you can find the full post there ~ ~ Off The Road, Through The Bush... ~ Hey everyone! Welcome back to my monthly essay - hope you guys are pumped for what's to come. This month really sped by, that's for sure. It feels like no time has passed at all since we announced Artem, as well as the rest of last month's content. For us, we've certainly been on the grind lately with development work. We're very excited for the next few months - that is, finishing the game, testing, release, and really seeing the fruits of our labor all come together. However, there are still a number of steps that need to happen before that, so let's just take it one step at a time, and start with this update, yeah? This update will cover my progress on the story, as well as some sneak peeks and artistic insight from Ruby, followed, as usual, by a fantastic track created by our composer, Darius. Let's get into it! Testing will be starting sometime in the near future - if you want to play the game early through the alpha, be sure to check out our Patreon! To start with, here are some bars (tm) _________________________________________________________________ Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (95%) #################### | Script Updates (85%) #################### | Misc (85%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (89%) New Content: #################### | Story (95%) #################### | Mapping (98%) #################### | Scripting (85%) #################### | Sidequests (95%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (93%) _________________________________________________________________ The Great Outdoors So - to begin, I am in the midst of finishing up the final areas of the game and wrapping up the story. It's been a long time coming, but I'm super proud! The mapping for these areas is now entirely complete, which is a fantastic milestone because, as you may have noticed from our progress indicators, we map, event, and develop each area in turn, rather than just mapping everything at once - which should indicate how close we now are! After these last events are completed, there will be a generous list of miscellaneous things to complete before we are ready for testing - but it's not entirely clear how long these things will take. Obviously, it'll take some time, so please, bear with us! With that out of the way, let's get a breath of fresh air and check out some of the episode's new outdoor areas! These areas, with full transparency, are on one of the game's new islands - Arcanius - where we will certainly spend some time over future episodes. Let's showcase a few areas here, yeah? This is a screenshot from Sunshell Town, one of the new areas you'll be able to access in Episode 6. This is a small seaside town that we have shown in a previous update - but now the area is more developed, and this screenshot is taken at night. Crim has done a fantastic job with the graphical elements of this area, and Posty worked meticulously to put as much great content as he could into this wee town. I'm really proud of the work they did for this area. This screenshot is from an outdoor route that you will traverse in Episode 6. Once again, the screenshot is taken at night. Posty and Crim did a fantastic job here giving this area its own unique identity. I wonder what kind of story will unfold here? Finally, these next few screenshots are from another area in E6 that we've recently finalized and packed full of content, and I'm really happy with how it's worked out. I won't reveal the name of this area, or that "content", but you simply need to know that the team is super proud of it, 'aight. This area has an electric-type theme to it, so we've really gone all-in with the blue and the bright colors amongst the fog. Hats off to Crim for doing the majority of the work here - it's turned out great and I'm excited to see you guys explore it soon (tm). Now, obviously, this is a fair smattering of new outdoor areas for you to explore, as well as the endless city jungle that is Cellia East. We haven't entirely shifted outdoors, however... as the most hidden secrets in Arcanius aren't exactly out in the open, waiting to be found... #*#&%*%$*( $#&#$&#&#&$*($*(*($ #(&*$&($*&($(*(#$*(*()#(#( > Are you sure, really sure? We can't afford to mess this up again. > I have never been more so. This is our destiny, after all. > And can we control it? > Of course. Why would you ever doubt me? > Something that powerful can't come for free. At the very least, she taught me that. > I don't play with chance, not anymore. You have nothing to fear. > And if you're wrong? > Hmph... when have I ever been wrong? #(&*$&($*&($(*(#$*(*()#(#( $#&#$&#&#&$*($*(*($ #*#&%*%$*( So, that'll more or less conclude my contributions to this update. Now then... let's involve some of the gang, yeah? The Clinical Director of Ruby's Plastic Surgery Clinic - Ruby herself: Ok, this place really needs its own name, anyway: "Yooo it's me Ruby with my first little explanation post thingy? idk what these are called lol I just wanna get a word out B) Hope y'all are doing well! You might've noticed I've been doing a massive overhaul of the old E5 sprites, and that has a big reason behind it more than just general polish. During development for E5 my art style was starting to change since having the same style for around 5-6 years (thanks to demon slayer kimetsu no yaiba I have learned to embrace the typical weeb anime style when it was much different lol ). It's been 2 years since E5 now and my style has fully changed from what it used to be 3 years ago, making me very unhappy with my older work and the style I made them in. I'm happy with my style now so I don't see or want any dramatic change in the future (besides upping my skills ;D) so no need to worry about that hehe, I promise this won't become an episodic thing of massive overhauls due to the reason stated a second earlier. I can attest to the fact that the others will physically come to my apartment and restrain me if I even dare think of another overhaul like this in the near future lmao. Anyway, with that out of the way and off my chest, maps! in E6 y'all will get to explore a map made by yours truly~ It's my first map in general and one that I made all the tiles for successfully without lying in the dirt and wishing the earth to reclaim me. Before Crim was brought on the team, for E5 I did very little tile work and only did a few things for E6 here and there, until now. I had earlier knowledge of mapping from just messing around in RPG maker for fun a while before coming on the team, so I knew the ins and outs already (and I was the one to teach Posty >;D ). I'm pleased to have my role expand to be able to help Crim, and to make the game environment more unique alongside her work! I'm really looking forward to your reactions and seeing if any of you can guess what map I made! ehehe ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)" Speaking of Ruby's stylistic evolution - let's see how some more of our characters have fared, yeah? This month, we're featuring Scarlett, Aaron, Ava, Aurora, Emily, and Rosetta. You can see that Ruby has really had her work cut out for her, and we're super grateful - just look at the results! I spend every update rambling on about how grateful I am to have Ruby dedicate so much time to these characters - but it should be obvious to everyone why, they look fantastic. I'm so excited to see everyone get to interact with the whole gang again next episode - we're almost there! Now, there's certainly more... well, novel character creations from Ruby, but we've decided to save the first major reveal for next month's update - so stay tuned... that'll be a biggie! DJ Darius... another one Darius is back to share another track used in E6 of Desolation. As I often say, Darius is more or less a prodigy when it comes to this, so I'm super grateful to have him on the team - in my opinion, the best is yet to come - trust me, you'll see what I mean when you get to play! Heads up that Darius shares two tracks this month over on our Patreon! Let's hear DJ Darius describe the meaning behind the music himself, yeah? Remember, you can just click the name of the track to have a listen! ~ Garret's Theme ~ you can click on the hyperlink above to listen to the track! "Garret's theme: Garret is an interesting character because of how "liberally" he views the laws of Cellia city. He was a tough character to write for and I went through several iterations before Caz and the team found one they were happy with. Boasting overdrive and distortion guitars, Garret's theme is meant to hit hard and overwhelm with persistent percussion. This theme takes inspiration from quite a few different sources: From Chopin's Waltz in C# Minor to Pokemon BW2's Lentimas Town to "Jersey Anniversary" on YouTube to Astor Piazzola's Libertango. It's a mashup of themes and genres because Garret's a mashup of emotions and a complex character: calm, cool, and collected when he's talking with the gang or giving orders to his goons, and brash, fierce, and strong in battle or when facing against the Black Foxes. One cool feature about this track is that the percussion/drumset that you hear throughout is actually ripped from Pokemon HGSS, and the guitars are taken from Cyrus' theme in Pokemon DPPT." Now, that more or less concludes this update. In terms of a few housekeeping items and clarifications: 1) Yes, we're close to finishing E6 development. Thank god. 2) We don't know exactly when we will begin testing, nor do we know when we will release. We're optimistic, but I'm sure you can appreciate that we will have a better and more concrete timeframe when we're a touuuuch closer to release. 3) Yes, patrons of the Delphinium tier or above WILL be part of beta testing experience - HYPE! I can't wait to see all of your reactions. If you're keen to play the game earlier, our Patreon can be found here. It's been a long journey, but we're almost there. Until next time, Caz
  5. ~ These are excerpts from a post on our Patreon - you can find the full post there ~ ~ Bringing it Home ~ Reflection About two years ago, we started our first hype posting for Episode 5 of Desolation. This was a really significant experience for me, as it was the first time I reappeared in the public light after a three-year absence. We didn't show much - just a small teaser gif - but it was enough to let everyone know that the rumors were true, and that we were back. Two years later, I am pulling the final threads together on the story for Episode 6, the most expansive episode we've made for this game. Of course, there is still much to be done, even after the story is complete - but that won't stop me from getting excited. In the coming months, we've got a bit to show off, and many more details to give away before the episode actually enters testing (remember to sign up to our Patreon if you want to get involved!) and is released, so stay tuned. This month's update will feature content from myself, Ruby, and Darius. Without any further ado, let's get into it! _________________________________________________________________ Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (90%) #################### | Script Updates (85%) #################### | Misc (85%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (87%) New Content: #################### | Story (90%) #################### | Mapping (95%) #################### | Scripting (85%) #################### | Sidequests (85%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (89%) _________________________________________________________________ The road ahead, and looking back... This month was important to me, as I ticked off the last of the things I wanted to do with the main event of this episode, that is, Cellia East. Our focus is now entirely set on completing the last major areas outside of the city, their side content, and the story. We continue to be dedicated to having the scripting side of things in order, as well as polishing as many bugs as we can before testing. In testing Cellia East, I was able to visit some of the locations we've created over the last year, and really feel like I was seeing them for the first time again. When we designed Cellia East, we had a very specific goal in mind - this is the place where trainers come to party, and act the fool without anyone finding out. This city is meant to be the nightlife of this game, and I think we've pulled it off well. We took the creation of this district very seriously... although sometimes, we did get a little silly, especially on stream: Outside of the aesthetic of the city, we have not only put a ton of effort into the main story, but also the side stories of Desolation. The game is built upon a foundation and lore that isn't explicitly told through the main story - and must be discovered and worked out for itself. Therefore, the side stories of Desolation aren't just to provide filler - they're to allow you to figure out the world around you. Despite those broader concepts, the focus of this episode has of course been the characters and making sure I do them justice. Yes, this includes older characters that we perhaps haven't seen in some time, and who deserve a fresh chance in the spotlight. Some of those characters form the very core of this game, and were amongst the first characters I ever created. On the other hand, some of them are, well... more or less there to make you slam your head against the keyboard. Whatever the case, I'm looking forward to bringing these characters back to life again, and letting you explore Ayrith with them... it's been a long time coming. That being said, developing based on my own nostalgia alone isn't enough to make the experience that I want to deliver. Of course, there are a handful of new characters set to make their debuts in this episode... we've just been very careful to keep their identities secret until we get closer to release. But I'm in a good mood, so we can give you one. Artem Meet Artem, a Team Crescent lieutenant, and researcher. This character is calculated, calm, and collected. His most useful trait to Crescent is his intelligence and his precision. However, contrary to belief within the organization, Artem is not heartless. He differs from other Crescent researchers in the fact that he does in fact have a strong moral compass, and ultimately wants to do the right thing. While being a significant part of Team Crescent, Artem is equally ambitious to his own causes, that is, his research on the Grid, a mysterious and poorly understood plane of existence outside of Ayrith, and Perfection, a state of being that is currently understood to be related to evolution. Prior to E6, Artem has been in the deeper regions of the Grid, researching the area and trying to better understand it. As always, Ruby has done a fantastic job at designing this character, making him distinguishable, recognizable, and without feeling out of place. I'm really proud of her for helping me make this character feel so unique and turn out so well. $$%%# %&*$&#$*#*# %&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# %&%&*$&%&*$&#$*%&*$&#$*#*# %&*$&#$*#*# > It's time for you to return... I suspect I am almost out of time. %&*$&#$*#*# > Is that so? You wish for me to leave my work, despite my progress? I am closer than you think. %&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# > The grid can wait... with what they have discovered, it would seem that we are looking in the wrong direction. $$%%#%&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# > Meaning? %&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# > It's not what lies beneath that matters... but what HE has discovered above. $$%%#%&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# > Are his intentions so maleficent as you believe? Or is it simply the unknown that you fear? %&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# > We don't have time to find out. %&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# %&*$&%&*$%&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# $$%%#%&*$&%&*$&#$*#*# %&*$&%&*$ Ruby's Plastic Surgery Clinic Welcome back to the monthly reveal of Ruby's surgical candidates. This is a testament to the fact that, yes, Ruby will make alterations to every single character, every single episode. Perfection comes at the cost of sanity. Here are some examples, including Garret, Aderyn, Chad, and Hardy (who looks extra depressed). As per usual, Ruby's commitment to perfecting these characters is part of what makes us feel like this game has such a high potential, and it contributes to me really wanting to do these characters justice on screen. The work that Ruby has done with these characters is what makes them feel so alive in-game, and I can't wait for you to see the content that she hasn't shown yet! DJ Darius' Desolation Delight(s) Darius is back in full with a selection of bangers. Only this time, I've decided not to include the "bangers" per se. I find myself being very careful when I pick which tracks to use in Desolation, as the music is often what separates a scene from being just good, or fantastic. Therefore, it's not always the high octane battle music that makes Desolation what it is, but in fact, the slower, melancholic pieces which pull heavy scenes together. Darius has created a number of tracks like this which really pull both old and new content alike together. On our Patreon, Darius discusses two tracks, but I'll just put one here this time around. Now, at last - I'll hand it over to him. ~ Scarlett's Crescent Theme ~ you can click on the hyperlink above to listen to the track! "Scarlett’s Crescent theme is meant to be played on top of the skyscraper in Blackview City during the events of the main story. The theme is a variation of her regular theme (unreleased as of yet), operating with the same general structure. Unlike her regular theme, however, the Crescent theme is shifted down into A minor which is related by a secondary Dominant to Bb Major (the key of Scarlett’s regular theme). While writing this piece, I tried to think of it from the point of view of the narrative: Scarlett is torn between siding with her friends or siding with what she thinks is right (Team Crescent’s goals). This struggle is signified in the music by the “conversation” between the violin and cello. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the two instruments passing the melody between each other - almost like they’re fighting with no one gaining the upper hand. The piano and reverb throughout are meant to maintain musical tension since the scene is a pivotal part of the story." And with those final thoughts from Darius, this update is pretty much complete! Thanks for tuning in guys! Thanks again for your support - we're almost there! I'm very excited about the near future for E6 of Desolation, and I can't wait to finally show some content that we've been keeping close. Testing is certainly a discussion we're having now, so again, remember to sign up to our Patreon if you want to get involved! Until next time, Caz
  6. ~ Excerpts from Patreon ~ ~ Some Welcome Guests... ~ Hey everyone, it's been one heck of a month, so let's get cracking on what is certainly one of our better updates! To begin, I just wanted to mention I have been spending a significant amount of time playing Elden Ring since it came out. Many of you might know that a lot of inspiration for the story I've been writing has come from the Soulsbourne series, so it's always a great opportunity for me to wrack my brain on how to improve when games like this come out. It's been pretty exciting, for sure. _________________________________________________________________ Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (85%) #################### | Script Updates (85%) #################### | Misc (85%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (85%) New Content: #################### | Story (75%) #################### | Mapping (90%) #################### | Scripting (85%) #################### | Sidequests (85%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (83%) _________________________________________________________________ Also, wow... Reborn testing is well underway. I just wanted to give a huge shoutout to those guys and all the work they have done. It has been such an enormous undertaking, and it's great to see their hard work finally paying off. Yumil and Cass have both been hard at work on the testing and scripting side of Reborn, but will be returning a bit more here when things are underway in the Reborn HQ. Now, onto business: I hope your manor has enough beds... So, you remember how you used to have those caves under the manor that were particularly great for specialized training, and how they were just automatically ready to be used upon being unlocked? Well, gone are the days of convenience. My first port of call after replaying some Dark Souls was to make things more inconvenient. Just kidding. I saw an opportunity to bring more life to the manor, and I took it. How? Well, breeders for each specialized cave can now be unlocked in Cellia and beyond... and all of them have a variety of stories and quests that allow you to do this. In simple terms, once you find one of these breeders, you can help them with whatever task needs doing (or just outright pay them) and in return, they will provide you with their services, specializing in a particular stat, and populating the corresponding cave with what you need. However, it is worth noting that it won't always be immediately apparent which NPC's are actually breeders, and tasks that lead you to unlock these important vendors are not always what you would expect... So in conclusion... as per usual, while in Cellia it's important to keep your eyes and ears open... you never know who or what might prove to be helpful. As I have stated many times previously - these updates are to bring more life to Cellia, and particularly Cellia East. I can't wait to see people spend hours in Cellia East (just like I've been spending hours in Limgrave). Now, moving on... ~ Nothing to see here, just a brief snippet of one of the new characters Ruby has been designing... perhaps we might see them soon? ~ Finding the perfect note... Speaking of Cellia East, Darius has had the honor of being able to work on its own original track. After all, this was meant to be the first experience of this game that was entirely original, so what better way to commemorate that than with original music? To celebrate, I thought we might just share that track with you all here! You can find it in the link below: --- Cellia East Soundtrack --- I'm really proud of the team for working together to create this experience, and I can't wait for you to all play it later this year. As a little teaser, a few of the new original tracks Darius will be working on include Shiv's theme, Aurora's theme, and Garret's theme! Keep your ears open for those! That's all from Darius for this month, but more is on the way. ~ What's this? Could it be a snippet of one variation of the cover art of Episode 6?! ~ A bright future, after I get out of jail that is... All in all, I'm having a great time working on the game at the moment, and things are going swimmingly. In E6, there is mostly main story content to create, and almost all of the major side content is now complete. I'm just completing some final bits and bobs in the final location in Cellia, the Cellia Outskirts Prison. From there, it will be smooth sailing to the finish line (I hope). As you know, I hate putting release dates on things (the events of the last two years prove that anything can happen), but keep your eyes and ears peeled for updates... they're on the way! I've also had the privilege of being able to work on content in future episodes, designing some areas, and writing story sequences in certain places. Shifting focus and writing other areas has always been a great way for me to de-stress without sacrificing the quality of anything. There's a lot of great stuff coming in future episodes! This concludes this month's update. It's been a load of fun for me working on this game, especially now with Yumil and Cass taking on the scripting brunt of things. I get to enjoy writing and eventing, the two aspects of game creation that I personally get the most out of, so things are pretty great! As usual, thanks for the support! Our Patreon is always available if you would like to be part of our exclusive server, and receive early-looks at updates! Until next time, Caz
  7. ~ Excerpts from Patreon ~ ~ New and Familiar Faces ~ Well, it's about that time again. Except... this time it's a little bit different. So, this update is a pretty important one, and concerns steps we felt were necessary for the future of this game. But don't worry - it's all good news! Let's not waste any more time. Myself, Posty, Crim, and Ruby had a lengthy discussion recently about the future of Desolation, and the steps that would be necessary to allow the game to fulfill the potential we believe it has. There is a lot to be done - a lot of updates that are both "catch-up" per se, and also additions that are entirely novel. There was a lot to handle, and not enough of Caz to go around. There was one obvious conclusion that we reached: if we wanted the game to be as great as we thought it could be, we needed help. Furthermore, we knew there were people that were just as willing, and just as passionate about the game, that could help accelerate things, and even improve them. So here we are, at this update. To welcome Desolation into the new year, we are welcoming three new faces, a couple of which you are likely to know already. Andracass Firstly, let's give a warm welcome to andracass, the entity more or less engineering Reborn's and Rejuv's scripts from the ground up, who is now formally on our development team as well. She has been helping us out for a long time, and it made sense that she was given a more formal role allowing her to work with our scripts with ease, rather than having to liaise with my (often small) brain. This has already been super useful for us, and I'm looking forward to how things roll moving forward. You can often find her around the reborn server, or in our Patreon server telling us to use vscode. It's great to have her on board. Yumil 2) The second new addition some of you may already know as one of the longer-term patrons on this server - Yumil. I have been working with Yumil on implementing some of his scripts privately for some time, most of which you will have seen as the Quest Log, which was featured here previously. Yumil has taken some time to briefly re-introduce himself, so I won't steal his thunder anymore: "Hi hello there I’m Yumil. If you’ve been playing Deso for the past year or so you might have run into some of the things I did for the game, like the 100% guide – don’t listen to me telling you to use it, listen to Caz saying he uses it despite, y’know, making the game (or a good chunk of the Wiki, or the tvtropes page). Aside from writing a lot of text, I like coding – I do it for a living and according to my bosses I’m pretty good at it. You might remember back when Caz introduced the Quest Log to you in a previous dev post – yeah, I made that. So, as of today, I’m joining the team in an official capacity after something like, idk, a year of messing around with RPG maker for fun. It’s an honor! I hope you’ll enjoy the stuff I’ve worked to create. Some of the stuff I made you can expect to find in Deso besides the quest log: 1) NPC reactions: yeah I might have taught the NPCs to call you out if you abuse items to win, or to comment that they got swept, or on the contrary, almost had you. They also notice if you changed your team since the last time you fought them in the story. That kinda thing. Here have an example of Shiv commenting a few different things across rematching him: (Ignore the decorum I might have turned the boat cabin into my own little experiment playground.) 2) An encounter rate slider – listen Deso’s encounter rate in silver rise drove me off the wall so I figured I’d be the change I want to see in the world. So yeah, I made a thing where you can set a multiplier to the existing encounter rate, all the way to 0% and up to like, 10K%. You get your shiny hunting QOL and I get to traverse silver rise in a fifth of what it takes now without opening a mortgage on repels, we all win. There's some more stuff it’s prolly best to keep under wraps for now – let’s just say that if at some point the game’s script inflicts mental damage to you personally you can probably blame me for enabling Caz’s weirdest ideas. You’re welcome." And that's all from Yumil - he's done a lot for the game in the past, and I have no doubt he'll continue to take things to the next level in this more official capacity. It's an absolute pleasure to have him. Darius Finally, the newest member of our development team is something we've always wanted to have onboard, and it's incredible slowly seeing that dream being realized - Desolation now has its own musical composer - Darius! Darius joined us recently, and after hearing a few of the tracks he has created, it's become clear that this is the next best thing for the game. We're super excited to have him on board. He's also here to introduce himself: Hey everyone! My name is Darius and I'm a freelance composer for different Pokemon fan-games. I have been writing music for a few years now and have been a musician for 14 years. Music is an interesting aspect of a Pokemon game because it's not necessarily needed for development but adds so much to the atmosphere of a game. My specialties are Area and Encounter themes, but I really like writing battle themes as well! I'm so excited to join the Deso team and make a lot of really cool music for you all! Feel free to reach out to me or check out my portfolio at: http://dariusmusiccompany.org/ https://musescore.com/dariusm Once again, it's a fantastic privilege and opportunity to have a composer like Darius on the team. Just to tide everyone over, we'll show a pair of Darius' recent tracks: Firstly, we have the first rendition of Ava's theme. Themes such as this are planned to fluctuate somewhat under different circumstances, which is a pretty cool thing to work with. - Ava Theme - Secondly, we have one of Darius' recent works on another fan-game. This is one of the tracks he has been working on. It represents where he is at from a fan-game composition point of view pretty well. - Mt Athreos - Once again, I am super pleased to have Cass, Yumil, and Darius on the team. This allows the experts to focus on their fields and optimize them far better than I could, and also allows me to focus on what I do best - the story. The future is pretty exciting. ~ A peek at Crim's new Ace Trainer sprites ~ That pretty much concludes my update for the new year. Things are pretty exciting around here, but there is still much to be done. We'll be in touch guys. Cheers, Caz
  8. ~ A Team Effort ~ Howdy folks, long time no see. It's been a long couple of months, that's for sure. I finished up my final exams earlier this month, so that's a huge relief. As discussed a number of times previously, this is a great thing for this game, as a huge amount of my time was just dedicated to studying for the latter half of this year. Anyway, you're not here to listen to my ramblings about life, so I may as well get to rambling about the game. In fact, you'll find later that I got two others to ramble with me! Let's get started with one of these things, as I know a number of people attach sentiment to these numbers: Pokemon Desolation Episode 6 Development Progress Old Content #################### | Map Updates (80%) #################### | Script Updates (85%) #################### | Misc (85%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (83%) New Content: #################### | Story (70%) #################### | Mapping (90%) #################### | Scripting (85%) #################### | Sidequests (80%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (82%) We're certainly getting there. As you can see, a lot of recent time has been going into scripting, more of which I will cover in this update. ~ A snapshot of Aaron, as part of character art for the game. ~ To begin with, I have been working on what I believe to be the most tedious part of development, at least personally. Scripting. Yes, I am currently in the developer depths updating the game to gen 8, as well as updating to the new version of the engine employed by other favorite fan games. It's a long and frustrating process, but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With this, we can finally work on updating our battles, encounters, and quest rewards to accommodate for gen 8. With the engine optimizations, this should allow for greater performance in larger areas, allowing me to fill up new areas, such as Cellia East, with more content without sacrificing performance. Here's more or less what I'm working on: After this is done, my focus will return to the main story, as well as the last major sidequest that I left half-finished before realizing it was time to get to this new engine. I hope you guys are excited about seeing a much-improved engine for Desolation. Now, as promised, I didn't come alone! Next up, I brought Crim along to discuss the creation of remakes for old/entirely original NPC's. Today, we're going to be talking about the new Ace Trainers - the trainer class I've been the keenest on giving a new identity. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hi, I’m crim I draw stuff sometimes! The process, at least for NPC classes is mainly wanting to make them match together yet still be distinct. A lot of personality can be communicated within the sprite so I’m quite excited to work on these, even if they’re just NPC classes it’s fun to give little bits their own personality through expression, or pose/ trying to make their poses fit together. The process for these concepts wasn’t really anything pointed, but I definitely wanted to make them look well-dressed / kinda classy— especially since Ace Trainers are a step up above the rest. Also because people in suits are pretty. For colors, I just sort of what I think looks nice - palettes are fun to pick. I didn’t want to make them too outlandish since they're NPC's, so keeping bright accent colors subtler- things like that, are important. That was a lot of words for “hairstreaks pretty hehe”. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ That's it from Crim in this update, now, we'll hear from Posty's side of things! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Howdy folks! It’s your local Postman delivering you some juicy Devsolation updates straight to your doorstep! Caz gave me a little segment on this post to talk about what I’ve been up to these past few months. Well besides sitting at home browsing the job market 24/7 to being in gacha hell trying to pull one specific character pain and suffering incarnate, I’ve been expanding my role a lot more on the team and have now dove headfirst into eventing! When I first joined the team back in 2019, the main tasks that I took on were balancing the game in terms of battles and the availability of Pokemon, a true text file editor. Then I began learning the ropes with mapping (which is now what I’m looking to do for a job!), and now I’m taking a crack at eventing. Now why am I telling you all of this? What relevance does this have to this update? Well, I thought I would share with you all a little sneak peek at what I’ve been working on! With my new eventing powers, I have been working on sidequests, and will be working on more with future releases! It has been quite the experience and honestly enjoyable to be working on this side of development, and I seriously can’t wait to show off all of this to you all! This quest in particular focuses around the Visinite Current, a new area that is accessible within Episode 6. Sadly, this is all I can show you of the quest, guess we’ll have to leave what happens for you to discover! Anyways, that wraps up what I have to offer, I’m really excited to soon be able to share with you all what myself and the others have been working on. Until then, I’ll pass it back to Caz to finish off this post… (see what I did there, post, posty, haha okay goodbye). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Big thanks to Posty and Crim for writing sections for this post - I assumed y'all weren't too interested in seeing me in scripting hell, so I'm glad they gave you guys something cool to check out. The point is, I'm really proud of the work everyone is putting in, and I'm excited for the future of this game. ~ The new badge Ruby has created for E6, can you guess the Typing? ~ That'll wrap up the update for this month guys. As I've said, I'm excited about the future, especially after we've got this shift to the new engine and gen 8 complete. There's an exciting world in E6 for everyone to explore, and we're getting closer to that being realized. Until next time, Caz
  9. ~ Shrouded In Mystery ~ Hey everyone! It's good to be back giving you all an update on things! I couldn't really organize our inner workings into a single theme, so you'll just have to bear with a smattering of... well, things. Due to the chaotic nature of everyone's lives at the moment, we've all been working on different stuff at different times. This means there aren't really clear sections on what I'll be talking about, so I hope you like... uh... words. Let's get started. - A very early WIP concept Ruby has been working on - For me, life has been pretty crazy lately. I'm about to sit my final exams for medical school, so my life has consisted of essentially living in the hospital, then working when I'm not there. The most exciting part is that the end is in sight... but I'm just not quite there yet. This has meant that I haven't had ample time to stick to one task (like I usually do) i.e. main story, longer side quests, and questlines, etc. Instead, I've been working on a lot of 'stuff' throughout the month. This includes shorter side quests, scripting, and graphical updates, as well as some general tinkering. It's all useful stuff that I've more or less been procrastinating, really. On the bright side, I have had some pretty great output on the writing side of things, but I'll leave that for another update. Now, enough of me moaning. I've stolen the spotlight ranting about myself long enough, so I'll show off some of Posty and Crim's work too. Posty's been busy working on many of the new areas that we will explore outside of the city in E6. He's beginning to deeply expand his role, and I'm pretty proud of the guy. Lately, he's started branching out into side quest building as well. This has sped things up more than you can imagine. We're working at slightly different points of the game, but it means that the gaps are being filled in far more quickly. Speaking of side quests, I just wanted to mention that there was a wee update to the quest log look. It might stand to change some more, but I thought I'd keep you all in the loop. Finally, I'd like to touch on an area Crim has spent a huge amount of time working on, and it definitely paid. It's definitely the highlight of this monthly update, which again makes me super grateful to have her around. The colors and atmosphere in this area are pretty great, and I can't wait for you to see it in E6. Note: A gif version of this area showing the animations can be found on patreon! Yeah, it's pretty good fun bringing this area together. What's it meant to be used for? Well... we'll leave that in mystery just for the time being. Once again, super proud of Crim's work. Well, that's it for this month's update. Once again, I apologize for the disjointed nature of our inner workings. It's just been a chaotic time outside of development. We're hanging in there, and I'm glad you're hanging in with us. Till next time, Caz
  10. ~ Excerpts from Patreon ~ ~ Urban Smoke and Nature's Bliss ~ Hey everyone, long time no see. It's that time of the month again where I jumble together a number of items we've worked on, and try to find a theme that links everything together. It's certainly a reach to call that process a success this month, but it's the thought that counts. Today, I'll briefly discuss our inner workings in a number of locations, including Cellia East and some... well, areas we've decided to leave unnamed. - A snippet of one of Ruby's masterpieces that will appear in-game. - To begin with, let's take a step back to see how the greenery has been growing: Old Content #################### | Map Updates (80%) #################### | Script Updates (55%) #################### | Misc (65%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (67%) New Content: #################### | Story (65%) #################### | Mapping (90%) #################### | Scripting (55%) #################### | Sidequests (75%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (71%) Yup, it's getting there. Bear in mind that these parameters are educated guesses more than anything. Anyway, now onto the actual update. Big Smoke and Blinding Lights Work continues on the bright lights of Cellia East. Only now, the end is actually within sight. Frankly, it's very comforting to actually see that nightlife coming together exactly as intended. It's been a long time coming, but it's definitely getting there. Thanks for hanging in there, you must be... The last few bits and pieces in Cellia East includes completing and tidying up some sidequests, and finishing the eventing processes within the Prison. These are all areas that have been previously revealed. After that, we can finally say with certainty that we're proud of the overall package that we call "Cellia", which is an exciting prospect. There's also a lot of balancing that still needs to go in within this area, including battles, item placement, quest rewards etc. It's the largest city area that has been created for the game thus far, so there's a lot of tweaks that need to be done for us to avoid things going awry at launch. A final reason as to why Cellia East has taken so long is one that I have iterated many times before. This district is my first real attempt to nail the world outside of the main story. Not just NPC's, but characters within sidequests, and the stories they have to tell. I want to make sure that every story is interesting within itself. This is something that I'm dedicated to, in order to reduce filler, and increase the amount of interesting and thought-provoking plotlines to explore. A Breath of Fresh Air Some of you may recall that we actually ventured outside of the dark and catastrophic atmospheres of Cellia and the Dreamscape in a past update. Well, we figured that it's been long enough since we broadened our horizons, and decided to share that with you. Obviously, it's clear that we've kept everything outside of Cellia and the Dreamscape pretty carefully under wraps, and we'll continue to do the same... at least for a little longer. But... there's definitely room here for at least a couple of screenshots. Yeah... your eyes aren't deceiving you. There's actually a world outside of the city! Firstly, you'll immediately note that the general aesthetic of this area is pretty unique, especially compared to past areas. This is because the talents of Crim, both from a graphical and mapping perspective (with help from everyone's favorite post-man, Posty), have allowed this entire section of the game become a unique area with its own personal feeling. I'm really proud of the work they've done on this, and following, areas. I can't beat around the bush - there's still lots to do. From the main story, to side quests, to general world-building... it's a lot. However, I feel like I can express some genuine happiness in saying that the end is actually within sight. There is an endpoint, and I feel as though we are no longer lost within a swamp of dev tasks. I find that pretty exciting, and I hope you do too. That'll be all for now, folks. Cheers for sticking with me! Till next time, Caz
  11. ~ Excerpts from Patreon ~ ~ New Frontiers ~ It somehow feels like forever since I last posted on this blog, even though it's just been a month. It's been a busy time, both in the deso dev-verse (expanded universe with myself, Posty, Ruby and Crim coming soon) and just general life. I'm in the last half-year of my medical degree, so times have been pretty hectic. Regardless, I'm here to bless you with content, not my life story (which is much less interesting. Here's another wee update into our inner workings! It's a pretty short wee update, so I may as well just get into it and not mess around. To begin with, lemme drop some bars real quick: Old Content #################### | Map Updates (75%) #################### | Script Updates (50%) #################### | Misc (60%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (62%) New Content: #################### | Story (60%) #################### | Mapping (80%) #################### | Scripting (55%) #################### | Sidequests (65%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (65%) Anyway, now onto the actual update. Moving onward and upwards To start with, I'll keep it straight - the Dreamscape has been 100% completed, which makes me pretty happy. The Dreamscape was a huge undertaking this time around, and I really think that it's paid off to continue in that direction. I'm much happier with the sidequests, the exploration, and the continuing lore that's developing there. Now, it's time to focus on new (and some old) frontiers. This month I'll be focusing my efforts on the cityscapes we will be exploring, expanding the outer districts of Cellia, and giving them the background they deserve. I'm working my hardest to make these areas as vibrant and full of character as I can. I don't have too much more to expand upon in my explanation of the Dreamscape - only that there's far more optional and explorative content than there's ever been before. Make sure you have a look around and talk to the locals! - A WIP version of one of Ruby's in-game artworks - Ryding into the sunset With the redesign to the Rangers Guild (discussed in last month's update), we decided to keep up the tradition by giving some love to a character that... kind of just accidentally stumbled into existence. Yeah, I mean Ryder. In fact, here's his new look. Don't be too judgmental - some of us believe in form over function: Yes, he has bright pink slippers. Okay, so when I created Ryder, he was more of just a character to introduce a story arc rather than anything else. He had no purpose, and almost all of his dialogue was contrived memery at best. But... something happened. I enjoyed writing his character and his dialogue far more than I should have. Furthermore, the general audience really seemed to enjoy him. So... plans changed. Reality can be whatever I want. I rewrote things just a bit to make an allowance for this wonderful gentleman to make his return. Whether you like Ryder or not, he and his pink slippers are here to stay :) A word from the balancing trenches To finish things off, here is a brief message from Crim and Posty, hot from the game-balance trenches: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi everyone! Crim and Posty here. As you might know, we’ll be adding Gen 8 in Episode 6! As a result, the both of us have been going back through the old encounter tables and adding some Gen 8 mons into the encounter tables to spice things up— trying to keep both balances, thematics, and fun events in mind when rebalancing and reworking some of the encounter tables. Not all Gen 8 mons will be available in Episode 6 to start with, of course! We’ve also been trying to keep in mind the current balance and mons that are overused or a bit too good / slightly unbalanced for where they are currently in the game. We want to keep the episode a fun and diverse experience, yet preserve some of the challenge within the game as well! You might even see some new mons in the starter selection as well! We’ve also been thinking about reworking and adding Gen 8 as appropriate into battles, too— again, not every trainer will have a mon from Gen 8, but if we think there’s room for a bit of balancing for the fight (stares directly at Aderyn) or if their team needs a bit of a rework otherwise we’ve been addressing those issues as well! If there’s any feedback you have about anything relating to balance or encounter tables, or anything of the sort, feel free to let us know as well! We hope you enjoy the revised tables and battles and that they provide for an improved and updated experience in Episode 6! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And that'll about round things up for now. Once again, cheers for sticking with us! Can't wait for y'all to see what we have in store. Next month, there'll be loads of screenshots of the goss' in Cellia East. Get ready for that! Until then, Caz
  12. ~ Excerpts from Patreon ~ ~ Old Times ~ It is now July... which makes this a pretty important month for us in the ol' dev team. In fact, this month celebrates one year since we put our hearts on our sleeves and revived Desolation by dropping Episode 5. Boy, time has really flown. We feel extremely privileged to have received such incredible support from everyone since the initial release, and during this long development period. Honestly, thank you guys so much! On the theme of reflecting on the old times, I thought I'd spend a bit of this update looking back on some old locations and people... and how we've modernized them just a bit. The New Let's begin with some new stuff. Well, work continues on the eventing side of the Dreamscape's new area, the Waterscape. It's much larger than the Dreamscape we are used to in E5 and full of new stories to hear... and secrets to unfold. As was the goal for the original Dreamscape - exploration outside of the main course is paramount and will be greatly rewarded. Besides, there's nothing like helping some folks in need, or spending some time to prove that you're the best, I guess. You won't travel to every area in the Dreamscape in the new Episode of Desolation, so make sure that you take some time to have a look around... it might help you out later! This part of development is taking a long time, as it is much less linear than most other areas we are used to, meaning there are a lot more gaps to fill - I want this area to feel like it's full of content, rather than just empty space - every corner should be well-utilized! In conclusion, it's an experiment that I still want to realize to its maximum potential. In my mind, the Dreamscape is a mostly open-world experience, and Ayrith is pretty linear, and E6 will mostly reflect this. Moving quickly on... The Old(?) I query whether this is actually 'old' content... because it isn't really. We've done a bit of overhaul work recently on the majority of the outdoor maps on Amaria Island, just to help bring them to the polish of newer locations such as Cellia East. It's come along rather nicely. This one just reflects some changes to trees, a new sand tile, and some better transitioning between the grass and the sand. This one is more comprehensive, featuring increased detail, some new tiles, and an overhaul of the existing trees. This one just has some logs lol. Yes, a bridge exists here but events don't appear on the view I used to get these screenshots. Don't harass me for this error pls xo But for real, it's nice to see some of these areas look just a wee bit sharper. Speaking of old stuff looking sharper... this brings us to the fun part of this update... an update to the Rangers! Ruby has gone ham once again and redesigned the existing Rangers that you may remember from early Rangers quests. With their increased future importance, it felt fair to give them more familiar faces going forward. For now, I'll simply share with you the concept sketches that Ruby created: The three characters (from left to right) are Myrtle, Dan, and Lucas. I'm as excited to see them in-game as I hope you are! Again, I'm very excited to see these characters feature in the E6 update, and feel just a bit more alive. Anyway - that concludes the update for today. In a general sense, development is going well, and I'm extremely happy with our current progress. We're getting there, and we're proud of what we're creating. It's a fun ride! Again, thanks for the support from everyone here. I can't believe it's already been one year since we came back - here's to many more! Until next time, Caz
  13. Hey Caz :)

    Hope I'm not bothering you too much, but I just checked out the development thread and if I may offer a bit of a very nitpicky critic:
    The beds in the prison look a bit too nice to be prison beds. Don't know how hard it is to redesign them, but it just looks a little out of place. 

    Again, hope I'm not being rude... The fact that that's what I'm complaining about shows how good your game actually is (it counts as one of the big 3 for a reason😉).

    Have an awesome day 😃

  14. Excuse me, but can you help me with my Desolation file

    After the game froze for a second I restarted it and now whenever I open it this keeps popping up

    Pls help 😭

    problem.thumb.png.4cb14bb28e0ab290399b2788296cd1ac.png

    Game.rxdata

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Wolfric

      Wolfric

      Can you tell me how to do it 

      I tried a few times but it keeps popping up so I might be doing it wrong

    3. Caz

      Caz

      Just rename one of your backup saves game.rxdata and replace the one that you've sent me

    4. Wolfric

      Wolfric

      Yes its working again

      Thank you very much

  15. ~ Excerpts from Patreon ~ ~ Third Act ~ Hey everyone! Just thought I'd check in with you all in a super quick update. There's not much spoiler-free stuff to report on today, so I'll keep it super brief. To start with, here's this little graphic that gives everyone a bit of reassurance that things are ticking along... Old Content #################### | Map Updates (70%) #################### | Script Updates (50%) #################### | Misc (50%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (57%) New Content: #################### | Story (55%) #################### | Mapping (70%) #################### | Scripting (50%) #################### | Sidequests (50%) -------------------------------------------------- #################### | Total (56%) Eventually this thing will be finished up. Otherwise, things are coming along slowly, but definitely getting there. In the meantime, here's a wee snippet of something Ruby has been working on: Okay, this one is pretty fun. I recently played through Crisis Core: FFVII and noticed that they concluded significant events in a really cool way - using a stylized snippet from the previous events that really help you reflect on everything that's just happened. I thought this would be an excellent feature, and with Ruby's skill and our own self-moderation, we planned exactly how this would play out in-game. Each 'Act' in the game is actually very long, and there are only a total of three Act screens thus far. For example, the first act begins after the events on the boat, and is only completed after the events that transpire shortly after Emily is defeated. These screens, therefore, signify a short segment to sit back and reflect when truly story-altering events have just occurred. We've had a lot of fun with these, and I'm sure you will too. As it stands, I'd say that Ruby is about 75% done with these (although this is completely a guess as, surprisingly, Ruby and I are not the same people), so there's definitely some cause for excitement. Again, show her some love - it's so cool for me to see these characters bought to life in such a dynamic way, and it's one of the things that really gets me motivated. Here are some maps that Posty has worked on recently from the prison area, just to illustrate some of his work. They're a WIP, and will have some additions soon: Anyway, that's it for today! Apologies that it's a bit of a short update. I've been working heavily on story, which I try to keep pretty separate from these updates. Thanks for stopping by, we'll be back soon! Caz
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