So the playtest! The playtest, that is, for the adventure that we are going to be selling in our Quick Start Guide at Armageddon (and online as a PDF thereafter, watch this space). Well, one half of it happened last week. The second half is tonight. We had LOTS of fun. I was the dungeon master, to give James a break for once. It has been a long time since I’ve GMed anything (except online text-based) and I realised pretty quickly that I had forgotten how much fun I have when I do it! So that was a happy revelation. The first session revealed to us a lot of minor bits of detail that might need to go in, but for the most part the structure and characters we have are very supportive to a GM, and allowed me plenty of freedom to go with the players, while at the same time always knowing the motivations of the NPCs and what would happen next logically with them.
I’m feeling very proud of this adventure James has written, and am really excited to be selling it in a month’s time. Also, we hashed out a system to run a chase scene in the climax the other night, after realising that D&D can’t really sustain a cinematic vehicular chase scene rules as written. So that part is getting tested out more fully tonight, we’ll see how it goes!
Art for the book and posters on the expo stand is all coming along nicely. Can’t wait to be able to share some of this stuff online closer to the time. There’s going to be a big print order going in next week for all the books and posters… it’s pretty daunting but still very exciting. Part of me just wants time to hurry up so I can see what our experience of the expo will be like. I hope we are popular. Not going to lie, I will be slightly devastated if we don’t find our audience there. We have contingency plans for if we fail there though, so at least there is that. It won’t end up being a big waste of money (I hope…)
So voice acting carries on for Prince of Cats and White Rabbit. It’s a long process but we are getting there.
I did a lot of work on the code of Prince of Cats in the weekend. Mostly minor fixes, adjusting the positions of things to fit 16:9 ratio better, etc. But it just occurred to me this morning, there is a major feature I wanted once upon a time that I completely forgot about… and I think I know just how I can do it! I’m going to try and put in a visual depiction of the humours changing. Like a little gauge, with the humours’ colours and stuff. I think it’ll going to be easier than I think! But I reckon at the end of this weekend, I will have finally finished all the code updates to Prince of Cats, and I’ll just be waiting on the final pieces of reworked art and all the voice work to come in.
Speaking of art, Sean has actually finished all of Her Jentle Hiness, and caught me on the back foot! I am regretting not having the code for the game ready by now, otherwise who knows, I could have potentially released this year! Oh well… realistically, I don’t see how I could have fit it in with everything else. And I still have to get the music, voice acting, proofreading, and also I’m going to trial a testing firm for the first time (but Claire, you’re a tester, I hear you cry. Well, it’s always a good idea to get someone else to test, second set of eyes and all that). So I’m thinking vaguely in a February direction for the release of HJH. This will also be the first one I’m doing without a Kickstarter! I’m happy that means less admin for me, but I will miss the sense of community that it brings with it. Perhaps I can create that in some other way.
We’re recording this tomorrow, just a small interlude episode after our big political one last week… but also because the one after will likely be big and political again hahaha…
Well, here I was thinking this would be a small update. Oh well. Busy busy busy. Better get back to it!
Feeling a little overwhelmed this week, but we’re doing ok.
DRAGONS OF TIRENIA
James is back at work now with lockdown over, so less time to work on the material for Armageddon, but he’s still cracking along. Everything looks to be on schedule!
I have another company interested in translating and distributing my two games to a further market not covered by the first company. So having confirmed there is no conflict between them, now I have two companies working on my games! Exciting times, but there is a lot of paperwork involved…
The previously released games are coming along nicely in terms of extra art and voice acting. Not worried about meeting the deadlines there. It is A LOT of work though. I’ll have to focus on the code fixes this weekend when I have some time to myself. I am so grateful to my two lovely artists, my voice actors, and my sound engineer. I really couldn’t be doing this alone.
Meanwhile, Sean is cracking along with the art for Her Jentle Hi-ness! I’ll include some below. I’ll have to get back to the code of that one once Armageddon is over!
We’ve got an exciting interview on the next episode, coming out next Monday. I won’t say too much about it yet, I’ll let the interview speak for itself!
Now we don’t usually do this kind of stuff, you probably know by now, but it’s International Gamebook Day, and James is a huge nerd for this sort of thing. So we’ve set up for a livestream of Fabled Lands, which we mentioned in our podcast earlier this week. Maybe we will do more things like this if it goes well. You can catch us at 7pm New Zealand time at twitch.tv/skybeargames
Everything is chugging along here nicely. Art changes coming in, voice files coming in, little quality fixes going into the code… everything is coming along nicely. I’ve just finished writing the regression test plans. My overseas partners have my code now and are converting it. I feel a little like the meme below…
I hope that the other developers aren’t judging my code too harshly
Oh, and Sean has been doing more work on Jentle Hi-ness! It’s so exciting to get more work from him. Once all this is a bit calmer, maybe in November, I’ll perfect the code for that one and look a bit more seriously at releasing.
DRAGONS OF TIRENIA
It’s been an exciting week for us, because dropped into the milieu of James and I working super hard on the text of the guide and the posters and layouts and everything for the expo… now we have an artist, a cartographer and a graphic designer working on visuals! This makes it all a lot more real now. Can’t wait to share some of their work!
James hit 66,667 words the other day – 2/3rds of the way through his arbitrary 100,000 word goal for writing the Dragon Princes sourcebook. Will he have enough topics to cover to hit that goal? Probably! The dude knows a lot about history and roleplaying, so this is the perfect amalgamation of that.
Recording the next podcast episode tomorrow! You can probably expect it to be all edited and finished by Tuesday.
The next Bitsy jam starts tonight at 7pm, and the theme is frog. Will Ratto be spending the entire episode in frog form? I dunno, maybe 😀
I can’t wait for our creativity holiday starting next Friday… in which I will hopefully finish Her Jentle Hi-ness code-wise, and then it will just be a matter of testing, refining and getting all the art from Sean.
See you… well, sooner than next week, I’ll be letting you know once Street Rat VII is done, and the next episode of the podcast, whichever comes first!
OTHER: James is still working away on his manuscript for the Dragon Princes/Tirenia sourcebook. Test art is coming through at a steady pace. I’m taking a break from Android dev as another opportunity may have come up. Can’t talk about this chicken before it hatches though! Cross fingers for me!
Tomorrow we’ll be talking about creating good RP characters, doing some reviews, and a follow-up on our topics of racism in respect to D&D. Our first episode started some interesting conversations on our Discord, and we wanted to cover some new information that was brought to our attention thanks to a patron of ours.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NEXT PC GAME?
I know I have been a little quiet on this one. Don’t worry, it’s coming! I’ve planned to do a major dev and testing push from the 1st to the 8th of August, even taking all that time off work to do so. Sean has injured himself too, so he’s just taking some time to recover before coming back to it.
We have been getting very busy indeed this week! Hmm… what shall I start with?
JOIN US ON OUR DISCORD
We’ve started a Discord with text roleplaying. Now that can mean a lot of things, so let me be precise: it is D&D based, set in the Dragon Princes Tirenia world, with play-by-post for major plotlines, and open free-for-all roleplaying in the taverna at any time. You can earn experience points as in a typical D&D session for taking part in the major plotlines, and for all roleplay you can earn RP Points which get you unique rewards such as bonus points in your stats, special items, whatever you can imagine! If that sort of roleplay appeals to you, come and join us! https://discord.gg/bWauN2t
LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST
That’s right, James and I have managed to make our first episode of the podcast. I’m actually super proud of it, I think it sounds pretty good and I’m really happy how it turned out. This time we talked about ourselves, about the gameosphere’s response to Black Lives Matter and police violence, and did some quick reviews of things we’ve been playing lately. In the future you can expect more news and opinion about gaming, philosophical explorations of gaming, and discussions about various gaming mechanics and best practices. You can check it out here: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-sky-bear-games-podcast
BACK US ON PATREON
We have finally launched a patreon after many years of thinking about it. But now that we are putting out so much free content, we feel like it is time. We have only the one tier, as at the moment we’re not putting any of our usually free content behind a paywall. You can visit us here: https://www.patreon.com/skybeargames
AS FOR THE REST…
Besides all that, we continue as usual. James is working very hard at Dragon Princes. I completed the latest bitsy jam with another episode of Street Rat, and you can find that to play here: https://skybeargames.itch.io/street-rat-vi