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Dec 31

Weekly Update #176: A Look Back At 2017 & Ahead At 2018

Tomorrow’s the last day of 2017. With that in mind I have decided that, rather than postpone it until the 1st or even wait until next Saturday, I will use today’s blog post to take a look back at 2017 and give you an idea as to what you can expect from us in 2018.

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have managed to accomplish throughout this past year!

Unfortunately, this year, we don’t have anything as big as the release of SHINRAI – Broken Beyond Despair to look back on. Nevertheless, there are a number of things I’m rather proud of.

At the beginning of the year, I was mostly working on SHINRAI’s sequel, Withering Without Hope, updating the sprites for recurring characters like Raiko, Nobara and Henjin, for example. I generally worked on a lot of basic things in order to lay the foundation for our next game. Like the story and setting, planning the layout of the new location and starting to work on its design. If you have read one of our more recent blog posts, you might already know that the events of WWH will take place at the Ginmaku Movie Theater.
I’m planning to finish the first background of the game as soon as possible so that you can have an actual first look at it.

Over the past 1 ½ months, I’ve gotten back into WWH again and I’m planning to continue working on it over the next few months as well… as opposed to pushing it aside almost completely like I did around April.

Why did I do that, you might wonder… Well, that’s because I wanted to focus solely on GENBA no Kizuna, the other project we are currently working on and which we officially revealed in June along with its main cast.

Up until that point, I had referred to it as our “dinosaur project” and by now, you should know why that is (at least if you’ve kept up with our blog posts over the last six months).

GENBA takes place at the Kaseki Residence, home of a world-renowned paleontologist. As such, it features a dinosaur-themed interior, but this “dinosaur theme” is also seeping into character designs and other things, similar to how “Halloween” was the theme for BBD.

GENBA is going to be shorter, a bit more fast-paced and more gameplay-oriented than SHINRAI, featuring a lot more interactivity. With the police actively involved in the investigation, the story being told mostly through dialogue, as well as the ability to experience it through the eyes of multiple characters, it will certainly feel rather different from our previous VN.

Nevertheless, it’s still a murder mystery and does connect to SHINRAI in important ways. A topic I’ve talked about not too long ago.

With our focus mainly lying on GENBA for most of the year, we naturally made quite some progress on it. By creating a whole bunch of assets (ranging from backgrounds to sprites and even menus), the game’s foundation is laid now as well, to the point where we’re getting really close to the release of a first demo!

That’s really what most of our energy went into this year. We did pull off a few more things, though.

For instance, after all this time, we now have our own website, which we launched back in June.
It still requires more work and I really want to finally expand the sections for GENBA and WWH as well as add some other things to it, but that will be one of my goals for early 2018.

Outside of that (after an eternal back and forth), we have also decided to launch a Patreon page, which we did back in September. Through this, we hope to get enough funds together to eventually hire more people for our tiny team. At the moment, however, it’s main purpose is to help us with covering the costs of GENBA’s soundtrack.

Now you might wonder what exactly you’ll get in return for supporting us on Patreon. Well, here’s a quick list of everything you currently get access to:

– 3 character design sketches for the suspects appearing in GENBA
– design sketches for Kenji and Misaki, 2 of the new characters in WWH
– 3 full-length BGM tracks for GENBA
– a look at the full script of GENBA’s prologue
– the first part of WWH’s prologue
– a post featuring unused BBD art + talk about visual clues
– higher resolution & alternate versions of seasonal artworks + a whole bunch of WIP-looks

Things patrons can look forward to in the coming weeks: the final suspect character for GENBA, WWH’s first BGM track, the second part of its script and more character designs. You’ll also be able to decide through a poll who will be featured in February’s Valentine’s artwork. And, last but not least, early access to our GENBA demo!

Patreon is really about getting to see things way ahead of everyone else and being able to influence the stuff we do by offering suggestions. Patrons will be able to help us prepare the demo for its public release, for example.

Another thing I want to use Patreon for, however, is to post more WIP-stuff and other things I’ve always been way too shy and embarrassed about to share publicly. One big other thing patrons can look forward to, for example, is a post about our very first VN project which never got released. I will talk a bit more about how we got started and share with you some very old assets to give you an actual look at our early work from way back in 2011.

So yeah, if you’re curious about those kinds of things, please consider checking out our Patreon page.
Your support would be greatly appreciated!

I’d actually like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has supported us thus far, whether it’d be through Patreon or any other means.

Throughout this year, we had some incredible things happen. From something as simple as getting new reviews on Steam to even receiving fan mail, both digitally as well as physically. It still feels strange and very surreal to think that some people actually enjoyed SHINRAI that much. People have even asked about possible merchandise, which is kind of shocking to me. But I guess that will be something to look into in 2018.

One of the greatest compliments I have received this year, however, is that SHINRAI actually inspired others to go forth and make their own stories. That’s quite touching and… I dunno… like I said: surreal. Sometimes it’s really difficult to believe that this isn’t just a dream. Because these are the kinds of things I have dreamed about for the longest time. For a big chunk of my life, actually.

Really, I’m deeply grateful for all the support we have gotten. People going out of their way to leave us a review or even send us a message to show their appreciation… things like that truly make me happy and I couldn’t ask for more. And they certainly serve to fuel our passion. I hope that all of you will continue to stick with us until our next projects come out, no matter how long it will take!

Which brings me to the final point I guess: what’s in store for 2018?

Well, like I said before, our main focus will lie on finishing that GENBA demo. It was already supposed to be released in late November, which didn’t quite work out. And although not much is missing anymore, we didn’t make too much progress on it in December. Which is mostly due to the fact that December is always a really busy month. Aside from a lot of RL stuff, we had to take care of the seasonal artworks and… I admittedly decided to rather devote myself to WWH, simply because I was in the right mood for it. And while I plan to continue work on WWH, I will definitely get back to that demo now, too.

When will GENBA be finished in its entirety? That’s a good question. To be honest, I was hoping to release it in 2018, but it’s always difficult to assess whether or not that will work out. I can’t foresee what kind of hurdles we might stumble into or how long exactly certain tasks might take. That said, I still want to make it my goal to finish GENBA in 2018.

Please keep in mind though that whenever I set goals such as this (even the demo release for late November), it’s more of a way to motivate myself rather than me making an actual promise. Might sound like a lame excuse, but… I know that, even if I don’t manage to make the deadline, I will still do my best to actually meet it, resulting in more progress than I would achieve otherwise.

If I tell myself that releasing GENBA in 2018 is impossible, so I’ll just say 2019… I will make a lot less progress on it, because I’ll have that “there’s still time”-feeling in the back of my mind. That’s why I think it’s always important to set personal goals and work towards them as hard as you can. Whether or not you actually manage to reach those goals doesn’t really matter as much as the amount of progress you have made once their deadline hits.

Of course, those goals should still be somewhat realistic, so that you can actually feel as though they’re perfectly possible to reach. There is no point in purposely setting completely unrealistic goals. That might actually be more detrimental to your work ethic than anything else. But finishing GENBA in 2018 seems doable to me, so I do want to work towards that. Just don’t be mad at me please if it doesn’t work out after all, haha.

Anyway, this is starting to get a tad too long, so I should finally wrap this up. I will talk more specifically about our January goals in next week’s blog post. Until then, please take care and have a happy new year!

And once again, from both Natsu and myself: thank you so much for your interest in the things we do!

1 comment

1 ping

  1. Xolf

    And thank you so much for the things you create and share with us; never underestimate yourselves!

    Look forward to seeing what you come up with in 2018. 🙂

  1. Happy New Year! / January Update #1 » Prismanga

    […] so I hope to get back to work on that soon! (Hey, speaking of SHINRAI and GENBA, you totally should check out our plans for 2018 on Gosatsu.com as […]

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