Jan 06

Weekly Update #492: Plans For 2024

Happy New Year!! We’re already one week into 2024 and so I hope that you had a very pleasant and already successful start into it!

In last week’s blog post, I looked back at the entirety of 2023 and although a lot of cool things certainly did happen and a ton of progress was made, we sadly didn’t reach our main goal of finally releasing our next murder mystery visual novel GENBA no Kizuna.

We have gotten very close to the end, however, currently working on the finale, and so I can say that it will release this year for sure.
And maybe it was always meant to be this way, given that 2024 is the year of the dragon!

“Dragon” in Japanese is “ryuu” and what else do you think of when you hear that word? “Kyouryuu”, of course, the Japanese word for “dinosaur”! In the words of Hitoshi Ariga himself: “辰と言えば龍、龍と言えば竜、 竜と言えば…恐竜だよね” w

(It’s essentially a play on the various kanji for “ryuu”, so basically: “If you think of ryuu (), you think of ryuu () and if you think of ryuu (), you think of ryuu () and if you think of ryuu (), you think of… kyouryuu (), right?“)

Now, if you count to that the fact that we even have a character named “Ryuunosuke” and that the story deals with a group calling themselves the “One-Eyed Dragons”, it really feels as though there’s no better year to release GENBA than this one!

The big question just is: when exactly will it finally happen? And to answer it, we first need to check what’s even left to do…

In terms of coding, Natsu still has to wrap up the final investigation phase. Sadly, there has been a delay, because she’s been very busy for the past month. Next week, however, she will finally be able to get back to things! There are only two more scenes left to go, so it shouldn’t take too long. And afterwards, it will then at long last be time to make the final confrontation phase playable as well!

I fully wrote out the script for it in December, but while it may be true that you can at least read the entire story from beginning to end now, there are still some writing-related tasks left to do. Outside of general proofreading, some more polish is required, since a couple of exchanges still feel a bit clumsy or convoluted to me. My plan is to go through the script scene by scene now and finalize them one after the other. There are 26 in total and although that may sound like a lot, the individual scenes greatly vary in length. Some of the longer ones are around seven to eight pages, while others aren’t even a single page long.

Therefore, I hope that we can have a relatively fast pace of me finishing a scene and handing it to Natsu, so that she can start coding it while I move on to preparing the next.

Asset-wise, there thankfully isn’t all that much left to do. We’re at the end of the game now, so you won’t suddenly get to see our investigators meet new people, enter new locations within the residence or find new evidence. There will be some new sprite variations for various characters, but most of them are already done and those that are still missing will only require very minor work. The CGs have also been taken care of and so all that’s really missing are just a couple of simple illustrations to visualize some of the tricks used by the culprit, as well as two bigger art assets which I don’t really want to spoil anything about. I can say, however, that they’re almost ready for Natsu to color as well!

Still, while we’re getting closer and closer to the end, there is quite a bit left to do and it’s really difficult to estimate how long it might take. I mean, technically, it’s something that could very well be taken care of within the next two or three months. I’m just a bit worried about certain things coming up that may cause further delays. Natsu, for instance, will be pretty much unable to do anything for about another month starting some time in late March. So, ideally, we finish before that, otherwise, that would automatically add an extra month of a wait.

I guess the absolute worst case scenario would be a release during this year’s Jurassic June, which would thematically fit extremely well of course, but I obviously don’t want it to take that long if I can help it. In that sense, the situation is a bit similar to the one with SHINRAI back in the day, when we could have had a less stressful time by taking two extra months for a Halloween release, but also wanted to just get the VN out as soon as possible.

But in any case, GENBA will definitely remain our sole focus for the first half of the year, since even after its release, there will still be a bit more left to do in regards to it. For the second half of the year, however, I have completely different plans and am already very excited to finally dedicate myself to them. But we’ll talk about those when the time comes!

So, to sum things up, my personal aim will be to finish GENBA within the next two to three months and I will work as hard as I can to make that happen. After all, you also gotta set deadlines for yourself to light a fire under your ass, otherwise things will take longer.

That said, until only the polishing/testing phase is left to take care of, I can’t and don’t want to announce any exact release dates, especially given the air of uncertainty that always lingers due to private life matters. I already feel really bad about all the delays thus far, so I obviously don’t want to say something now, only to then have to push it back yet again…

Well, that’s about all I can say at the moment. I’ve already been very productive during this first week of the year and will get back to work right away, so that I have some neat progress to report next Saturday! But until then, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Take care :3