Sunday, August 21, 2016

Look Familiar?

Hello and welcome to anyone taking the time to read this. It's Lunch here again, and this time I'm happy to show some of the progress that our team has made over the last few months.

I've mentioned before that our next planned demo will be consist of both new and old-but-improved content, particularly on the writing side of things. While we're still currently working on finishing sprite and CG assets required for it, the needed backgrounds have been done for a little while now, so we've had a chance to give the game's user interface a complete revamp.

New menu, old placeholder title screen image.
To be honest, it's taken us a long time (and many, many reworks) to settle on an overall design and theme for our GUI. Part of the reason for that is because we had to decide just what a retro-futuristic adventure on a nuclear-steam-powered spaceship in an alternate, space-oriented Victorian era would look like, and that's easier said than done! It's not like you can just pop all that junk into Google and go from there. It's a journey in itself, and it's one that probably won't be over until it's over, but we've recently settled on some design choices that we're happy with. See for yourself and let us know what you think!

If you noticed the "Almanac" button in the screenshot on the top right, the Spacer's Almanac serves as the game's codex, and will allow players to continue exploring the lore of Familiarity's universe as they unlock new entries during gameplay. Hooray for world-building, down with info-dumping!

Speaking of building worlds, now is also a good time to mention that the preliminary (as in not first but not quite last) draft of the first act of the game is now complete, clocking in at about 145,000 words when accounting for all alternate scenes and branching paths. That's a whole lot, and it may shrink or swell a little after further editing and revision. Eventually we'd like to release the whole of act one as a large, standalone demo, but there's a lot more work to do before we reach that point. Particularly in the art department, so if you or an artist you know might be interested in joining our team, we'd love to hear from you!

Come to outer space, we have fireflies waifus! Art by Chocojax!
Well, that's about all we have for this update. There are a few other things we could show you (such as a rather incredible song by Doctor Jekyll, who suffered through no less than seven drafts to make it so, my fault entirely), but we do have to keep some tricks up our sleeves. Until next time everyone, and as always, we welcome any thoughts, questions, concerns or feedback you might have. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Deep Space B(r)ass

Without a blog post. Dang. Is there anybody still out there?
Well we're all still here, and we've been making slow but sure progress where we can, when we can. We have some cool stuff to show and tell you about, so here's something that will hopefully tide you over until we have it polished and spitshined.

Above is a time-lapse of our design process for creating backgrounds in Familiarity. Our stalwart and talented artist LordFryingPan starts with a description and tone provided by our writers, creates an initial sketch, and then we work together until we eventually reach the final product seen here. Check back (potentially much) later for more!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Spaceballs the Christmas Update

Artwork by Chocojax!

When I was a kid, December itself seemed to last six months, and the wait until Christmas was a slow and torturous crawl. Now the month is measured in pay periods, and all I had to do was blink to send 2015 hurtling towards its inevitable conclusion. But here we are, and while we're here, there's a couple things we'd like to talk about, starting with an overview of our progress towards our next demo, and our plans beyond that.

Demo #2 progress:
  • Script: 95% - barring final editing
  • Programming: 35% - much of our focus lately has been retooling our GUI and adding new features, while getting scenes up and running in the engine has taken a backseat for now
  • Music: 90%
  • Sprites: 20%
  • Backgrounds: 110%
  • CGs: 10%

As you can see, while we've made a good bit of progress, there's a still a long ways to go. Just as a reminder, Demo #2 will include all the reworked and improved content of our first demo, plus three new scenes. After it's done, we plan on eventually releasing all of the first act as a final and standalone demo. Speaking of which, the script for act one as a whole (which consists of about 30 scenes including branching paths) is currently sitting at about 80% completion.

So enough of boring old words, words, words, what else do we have to show you? Well, you've already seen that our ever-awesome artist Chocojax has worked hard to provide us with some lovely art, and while we don't have as much progress on the UI to show off as we would have hoped, our faithful and hardworking musician, Doctor Jekyll, has whipped up a holiday-themed song just for the occasion, We hope you enjoy it, and from all of us here at Airheart Interactive, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Spacechix & Chill

Okay, I swear we didn't mean to go silent for this long. When I said "next update in another three months," I really did mean it as a joke. Yet here we are.

Artwork by Chocojax!

Well I'm sorry for the lack of updates around these parts. To be honest this year has just flown by, and while we have made progress it's been pretty slow. I'm quite pleased with how the script has come along, but then again I wrote most of it, so of course I'd say that. Actually, besides a little editing, the script for the scenes that will be included in our next demo is done and now we're just waiting for art and music assets to get done, and for the improvements we've made to the build to be ironed out.

In other Fam related news, Hearts, one of our writers, has chosen to step away from the project in order to focus on personal matters. We wish him all the best, and he will be and is missed.

While it's true that things would be much easier if we were to cut the total number of routes down to just two, we think it would change the feel and scope of the game too much, if it was a yin-and-yang kind of thing with just Morial and Sam. Besides, Diane's character and arc have vast potential for exploring the political landscape of our retro-futuristic setting, so it's totally still something we want to do. At this time we aren't actively seeking a new writer to take on her route, but in the future we might put out a call for someone to help bring our automatonic love interest to life.

While I'm at it, one other staff opening we would like to announce right now is for an additional musician. The loyal, talented and handsomely-mustached Doctor Jekyll has been a huge help, but these days he's so busy that it would be very nice if we could take some weight off his shoulders. If you think your musical style would fit our little space adventure and you're interested in contributing even just a track here or there, please use the contact link in the sidebar to the right or drop by our public IRC channel and get in touch with us.

That's about all we have to report right now, I think. Thanks for your time. Here's a parting gift from all of us. As always, feedback, comments and critique are welcome and appreciated.

Spritework by Chocojax, environmental artwork by Lordfryingpan

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Step aside, humanoids! There's a REAL waifu coming through!

Artwork by Lordfryingpan

Over three months without an update? Any sensible person would see that and assume we were dead. But in this case, that sensible person would be wrong. Sorry, sensible person.

Real update coming soonish. Or in another three months, I don't see any cops around.