A Real Update
I couldn't resist the title because it seems like this is the first real update in quite a while. We seemingly took the months of March and April off, (in which I spontaneously decided to fly to Japan -- and I still intend to write a blog post detailing my adventures there!) but in reality the team has been hard at work on finishing up things for Detective Butler's sequel.
I say finishing, but really, we're just getting started. There is so much for us to update people on, because of a number of great advancements in production. Firstly, our character sprite artist Captain Pharos has been doing such an amazing job with the major character sprites (i.e. anyone who isn't made out of the generic sprite pieces). The art process has been streamlined to a point where I simply do a concept sketch of the character to be drawn, along with several references for the required facial expressions, and she delivers in a timely and consistent manner.
We also received some applications for positions, and one such applicant has offered to help compose music for us. Weonix will be joining Solo (I guess that name's not so fitting anymore, huh) in the creation of music for Detective Butler. The two of them have been creating some really great soundtracks, also in a very timely manner. I can't complain! Isn't our team great?
In terms of progress: we've finished six of the nine major characters, so it's about 66% complete. Due to the serial nature of the story, we won't be needing the other 33% for a while anyway, so we're closer to being ready than you'd expect. We've got plenty of music but are mostly, uh, playing it by ear to see where we need more songs, but we've pretty much got all the music we need for the first and second chapters.
Speaking of releasing the first chapter... Nah, not today! But soon. Earlier this month I completed work on the first chapter, and I'm going to run it by my beta-testers very soon. I am in the process of finishing the second chapter as well. My plan is to release chapters one and two at the same time, both because the initial chapter is fairly short, and because it'll help people adjust to the serial nature of the game. You'll figure out how to switch between chapters early on.
But wait, there's more! Our Witch Doctor Kaneko team of artists Osato and TahYllis are also doing a fantastic job. Osato's concept art is as imaginative as ever, and TahYllis has truly mastered the art of pixel animations. We've been doing the concept art and sprites for Kaneko's spells, and we're just over halfway finished with them. The next step is to devise some puzzles which utilize those spells and then code the best ones into the game.
Again, I'll be sending my beta-testers a link to the prototype for Detective Butler as soon as I can. This game takes a lot of time to work on: it features a fully-explorable 3D environment, where you hunt for clues to aid you in the climactic debate against the culprit! Ah, did that spoil too much already?! I'll do a proper write-up (and hopefully a video demonstration) of all the gameplay in the near future. Until then, all aboard the hype train!