Saturday, February 14, 2015

Will You Be My Handheld Proton Magnetometer?

Happy Valentine's Day from everyone here at Airheart! We hope it's a good one!

Art by Rinbro!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Upwards and onwards and sideways and serpentine

Hello again. January has gone by already, and we'd like to give a huge thank you to everyone who played our recent demo and provided valuable feedback. While we more than welcome any late-comers or additional thoughts people may have, we figured now was a good time to talk a little about what we've learned and where we're going from here.

Some people rightfully noted that the main menu theme was too loud and abrupt and we're sorry for that, it's just something we were used to. In response to feedback, we're tweaking one song, replacing another and removing a third entirely, at least for now. Rest assured that we have a lot more tunes on the way!

Although a few tweaks need to be made elsewhere, the vast majority of complaints we (rightfully) received concerned the demo's user interface. This is an area where there's room for improvement, I'm not going to deny it at all. It was the first time we'd made something like this, it was hell and a half to get the ren'py engine to play along and, frankly, we were rushing towards the end. As such, we're currently redoing our UI, not only to fix the little glitches and unused boxes, but also to make it feel less flat and more like something that belongs in our little bronze-plated-anachronistic-nightmare-in-space. Since it's not really something that needs to be kept under lock and key, maybe we'll show off some of the new UI in future blog posts, stay tuned.

But no, it didn't actually look this bad ingame, for anyone wondering.
Life is pain, Jumper.

We received a lot of really good feedback concerning the story and the writing for the demo, and we've already been busy strengthening some scenes while trimming a lot of fat. Oh, and yes, "elecktrical" was spelled that way on purpose.

Last but not at all least, while a lot of programming to-do's have to do with the UI stuff mentioned above, there were a few things that we wanted to do in the demo that we just couldn't get working properly in time for our deadline. Now that we have more room to breathe we can dig out the thumbscrews and see if we can get ren'py to comply. With luck you'll notice a few new tricks the next time around, which leads me to the last item on the agenda for this post:

The future:
So where do we go from here? Well, like I've been saying, there are some things we're working on fixing and improving within the demo content itself, which is perfectly fine because there's nothing in this demo that isn't in the actual game, barring the placeholder main menu screen. All of these improvements are things that contribute to the big picture, but while we do want to make the demo content the best it can be, we also can't drop everything else and devote all our time to making every single thing absolutely perfect--there's just too much we want to do, and we'd rather release a full game that we're happy with than go down in flames because our dream project wasn't (and never will be) 100% perfect.

Artwork by Chocojax!

Further down the road, we're planning on releasing a second demo which will encompass the revised first three scenes you've already played, plus two additional scenes that follow. This demo will see the player making new and important choices, meeting new and important people and doing other new and important things that I can't talk about yet but dang I really wish I could because it's awesome!

Thanks for checking in with us. We don't have a release date in mind for demo #2 yet, but when we do we'll let you know. Until then, we hope you have a safe and productive winter's end.