Jan 01

Weekly Update #385: Plans For 2022

In last week’s blog post, I have taken a look back at 2021 and shared a few more personal thoughts on the year over on our Patreon.
Today, I would like to focus on what is lying ahead: a whole new year with new goals and new opportunities!

It’s always difficult to lay out a road map for an entire year, but I do certainly have a rough idea as to how I would like to approach things and what I would like to have achieved by December 31st. As usual, I will elaborate on our plans for a specific month in the first update at the start of it, so I will go into detail regarding those for January further down below. Before we get into any specifics, however, let’s talk about the major goal for the year as a whole. You can probably take a guess as to what that may be!

As I have already announced in our anniversary posting back in August, I really want to finish GENBA no Kizuna this year, so that will be our main focus. No distractions in the shape of little side projects this time around and no console ports that need to be worked on simultaneously, either. From here on out, I will purely dedicate myself to GENBA until it’s done. And if we can keep up the pace of the last two months, it’s certainly anything but an unattainable goal to achieve this year.

We have made significant progress on the game during the past six months, more than double of what we have accomplished throughout the entirety of 2020. I have talked about the reasons for that last week, but the main factor is that I have finally overcome my writing struggles and really enjoy working on this project again, which translates into a much smoother creative process.

Unfortunately, I already know that some major events are lying ahead in my private life that will have a severe impact on it.
There will certainly be more emotional ups and downs coming my way, which will undoubtedly affect visual novel development, but I think I’m learning to deal much better with them.

Also, as weird as that may sound, all of what’s been going on and what’s yet to come will ultimately be of benefit to GENBA, I think.
Its story carries a message that’s been pretty close to my heart for a while, and I feel even more conviction to tell it and to address it in the most appropriate way. I have a lot more things to say on the matter now and also gained new perspectives as well as a new understanding of my own feelings, and I cannot wait to share all of it with the world.

So yeah, finishing GENBA is our top priority. I cannot exactly predict when that will happen, though. While I do have some possible dates in mind which I would absolutely love for it to be out on, our work on SHINRAI has taught me not to prematurely announce any release dates. I will be able to give you an idea in August, however, when we will once again celebrate SHINRAI‘s anniversary!

Now, what will our first steps and goals for the immediate future be then?

If you’ve been following our progress for the past few weeks, you should have a pretty good idea. We’re going to take this one step at a time. Another mistake I made last year was to jump around too much and work on later parts of the game already, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but only complicated things for me. So, for now, we will finish chapter two and then move on to three.

Patrons will be able to beta-test the entire second chapter in February, but I will share more info on that once Feb-kun actually comes around. For January, it’s just gonna be finishing the remaining parts of the script, revising them, proofreading and taking care of a couple more assets, while Natsu will soon begin to code one investigation route after the other, starting with Keiichi‘s.

There is one thing to take care of first, though. Despite me telling you that there won’t be any distractions at the start of this post, we will do our annual New Year’s artwork, of course, which I have already worked on during the last few days of December. Patrons can even check out a preview here. Given that this is going to be a GENBA-focused year (and because I just fricking love her so much), it features none other than our paleobotanist Amber Harding!

Similar to last year, this will be one of a few exceptions, such as the artwork we did for the anniversary/console release and the one for Christmas, but I will not work on any other seasonal art (never mind monthly artwork in general) this year and instead just tackle actual game assets. So, to make up for the lack of monthly art, I will instead post more WIP stuff on Patreon instead. Content over there has been kinda sparse, but I really want to change that again. One of the reasons for the lack of updates was the fact that the vast majority of assets made last year were simply too spoilery even for patrons. There just are a couple of things I really don’t want anyone to experience outside of the actual game.

From here on out, I will be able to share a bit more again, though. As a matter of fact, a new BGM track is almost ready, so patrons can look forward to hearing the newest addition to our soundtrack very soon!

I guess that about sums it up, so all that’s left to say for me now is… Happy New Year, guys!
I sincerely hope that it’s going to be a great one for you and that, no matter what may come your way, you will come out on top!
So let us all work hard to make the next twelve months as amazing and successful as we possibly can!

As always, enjoy the rest of your weekend and the first days of 2022 and, until next Saturday, take care :3