Happy Holidays + Looking Forward

Hey everyone, and happy holidays.

Sorry there was no update last month. There wasn’t enough of the exciting kind of progress to show, and rather than a boring update just for the sake of posting, we chose to forego. This month, however, we have a few things to show off and talk about.

First of all, we recently posted our end-of-the-year blog post for Highway Blossoms, our upcoming yuri game. If you’re interested in that, please do check out the update here.

As far as HRP stuff goes, there’s also a fair bit of news. Before all that though, please enjoy this adorable Santa Hitomi from Myuto. Hitomi recently won a Twitter poll for “Most popular heroine,” and Myuto’s certainly taken that to heart. Aya was a close second, I think.

Santomi

Santomi

Anyway, on to the update.

We’ve completed an outline for our reworked Act 1/demo. It should help fix up a lot of the pacing issues that the first one suffered from, as well as being generally better written. The key events of the current demo will stay the same (Ambrosidone, meetings, the break-in, etc.) but it should all be more enjoyable to read. That’s the hope, at least. We don’t have an estimate of when there will be a new playable demo out, but it won’t be anytime soon. Right now, all of us are working on the meat of our actual routes, and we’ll be going back to make the changes to Act 1 later on.

We’ve been making good progress with the routes, too. From the time that our Kickstarter ended in mid-July, we spent a couple months outlining everything. While each route focuses on a different conflict, they’re all part of the same larger story. So, we had to work out a timeline of in-game events, as well as making sure that we had all the side characters that we needed. I won’t say too much about the bad guys, but I can say that moral ambiguity was something we kind of aimed for, and that I think we succeeded with – at least in the outline form.

Our word count now is probably somewhere around 50 or 60 thousand, with all of us doing our best to turn in at least one scene a week. Right now, Auric leads the productivity charge, with over a dozen different Senri scenes having been drafted.

As mentioned before, art is also gonna be overhauled, and you can see some of the girls’ new looks in our previous update. All the sprites will be redone to suit the new style, and also nearly all of the currently existing CG’s.

To help with that, we have a new member of our team. One of our artists, Hibiki, has had to step away from the project for a number of reasons, though we do hope to still have some promo pieces and little things from him. Stepping up to help fill the gap is our newest artist, Katzchen.

Shion Claus

Shion Claus

She’ll be assisting with CG’s and also probably sprites, too. If you wanna see some more of her work, check out her Pixiv gallery here. Just be aware that a lot of it is NSFW. The Shion picture just above is her first work for the team, and we’re all eagerly awaiting more.

Finally, in the music department, Tim put together a quick Christmas-y sounding piece to go along with the holiday spirit.

That just about concludes our updates and news for 2015. Please follow our Twitter account @AlienworksDev as well as @SekaiProject for any news about our games. In 2016, we’re hoping to have more merch to offer at cons across the United States. Is there anything you guys would like to see? We won’t be doing prints again, but we’re thinking about maybe wall scrolls and/or keychains. If there’s something you’d like to see, or a particular character you wanna see more of, do let us know.

Thanks for all your support this year, and in the upcoming ones. A few team members have written personal messages to all of you guys, which are included just below. Overall, have a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful new year. We’ll see you guys soon.

“When 2015 began, I had no programming experience and was still months away from even looking at The Human Reignition Project. A few words from my friend Josh in March was all it took to set me off on one of the most unpredictable paths of my life. Despite knowing about my general lack of experience, Alienworks still entrusted me on the word of two team members with the task of programming each scene for the demo that would end up shipping as a part of our Kickstarter campaign only three months later. Little did I know that the programming would only be the beginning; the intro video, GUI design, and second play through gags would come to form one of the most artistically fulfilling experiences of my life so far. I would have never chosen this path for myself, but that makes it all the more special that I have friends all over the world who do trust me enough to push me in directions I never thought possible.

With a demo, a Kickstarter campaign, an amazing team gathering at Anime Expo 2015, and our announcement of Highway Blossoms at Anime Weekend Atlanta, I have to say this might be one of the most significant years of my life. But even as I make such a bold declaration, I see 2016 as being even more special with the upcoming release of Highway Blossoms as well as other announcements we have yet to make on the trail to completing The Human Reignition Project. It’s been a wild ride so far, and I hope you all continue riding along with us.”

-Kevin Turner

“2015 was a busy year, both professionally and with Alienworks. Building up to the demo was a frenzied blur of late nights and bitter coffee. We all saw each other at our worst during that period, with no idea what the reception would be. We managed to stay together, and actually put out a product, which I’m still proud of. Hearing that people enjoyed the demo enough to support us was really gratifying. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the demo, and to those who backed us on Kickstarter. The kind words were more encouraging than you could know.

Of course, many of the unkind words were also helpful. We’re an inexperienced team, and we learn through critique. Springboarding off the demo feedback, I want to use 2016 to continue to grow as a writer, and serve to make the HRP something we can all be proud to put our names (or pseudonyms) to. Merry Christmas to all, and good luck in the future.”

-Auric Orange

“Hey guys. Thanks for all your support throughout the years. Nothing we’ve done would have been possible without your feedback and support, and we really appreciate it.  Hope your Holiday season is a great one, and hope you continue to enjoy our games and support us going forward!”

-Calistilaigh

 

“Well, here we are at the end of 2015. Everyone here is gearing up to celebrate the holidays, as I’m sure most of you are as well. It’s during this time of year that many of us find ourselves looking back on things and reflecting. This past year has certainly been quite eventful, for Alienworks as a development group, and for each one of us personally. We saw the release of the Human Reignition Project’s demo this summer, which was a significant milestone for the team. We also had our Kickstarter campaign, and were absolutely blown away by the sheer amount of support you guys gave us. Finally, just a few months back, we announced Highway Blossoms, and once again we were deeply touched by the love you guys sent our way. You truly are amazing, each and every one of you. Your support and your dedication as fans and backers has been absolutely incredible, and I -along with the rest of the team- truly appreciate every single bit of it.

Developing a visual novel is not an easy thing to do. It’s frustrating, it’s exhausting, and it challenges you in many ways a newcomer likely wouldn’t expect. Hell, it can be utterly soul-crushing. So then, why do we do it? Well, the answer is simple. We do this because we want to do it, because we’re passionate about it. We want to create worlds and share them with all of you, and that is exactly what we’re going to do. You’ve brought us this far, and it’s your support that keeps us moving forward regardless of the obstacles we face today and the many more we’ll face tomorrow. I’m excited to see just what awaits us developers and fans in the New Year! There’s still so much left to do, and there are so many stories still waiting to be told. Let’s look forward to all that we can accomplish in the days ahead, together.

Happy Holidays,”

-Red_B

This year hasn’t quite ended yet but I’m already looking forward to the next one. Meeting these great people and being able to be part of such a big project made me really happy and I’m sure that the year to come will be just as great as this one was. I also learned a lot of things, especially from Mondo who was able to make me understand the more complex musical techniques. With his help I also wandered into musical territory which I haven’t thought of visiting before.

I still remember the week before the demo came out and when we had to play though the game several times to look for bugs or typos. And since I am kind of a slow reader because English isn’t my first language it took me ages to play through it. But this was also the time when everything started to feel more real. When the art place holders got replaced with real sprites and backgrounds and when the story became more and more polished and of course when I was able to hear my own music in game. Actually playing the game and seeing how everything comes together is still one of the best experiences you can have as someone who is part of a game development team.

Thank you all for you support! Me and Mondo will make sure that the sound track of this game is the best it can be!”

-Tim

This year hasn’t quite ended yet but I’m already looking forward to the next one. Meeting these great people and being able to be part of such a big project made me really happy and I’m sure that the year to come will be just as great as this one was. I also learned a lot of things, especially from Mondo who was able to make me understand the more complex musical techniques. With his help I also wandered into musical territory which I haven’t thought of visiting before.

I still remember the week before the demo came out and when we had to play though the game several times to look for bugs or typos. And since I am kind of a slow reader because English isn’t my first language it took me ages to play through it. But this was also the time when everything started to feel more real. When the art place holders got replaced with real sprites and backgrounds and when the story became more and more polished and of course when I was able to hear my own music in game. Actually playing the game and seeing how everything comes together is still one of the best experiences you can have as someone who is part of a game development team.

Thank you all for you support! Me and Mondo will make sure that the sound track of this game is the best it can be!

“Happy holidays, everyone. It’s been a pretty wild year.

It was around the end of last year that I joined Alienworks as the writer for Setsuna on the Human Reignition Project. At the time, I didn’t expect I’d get so busy with VN development, but that’s since been proven wrong. With the inception of Highway Blossoms, continuing my work on HRP, and and other super secret things, it seems like there’s always something to be done. But I honestly, I think I kind of prefer it this way. Call me a workaholic, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s a little hard to function on the days where there’s nothing to do or when I’m forced to take a break. Things keep on rollin’, though. Seriously, there’s always progress being made around the clock.

From a Kickstarter, a demo released, conventions, new projects, and new members, it’s kind of hard to believe how far we’ve come as a team this year. Before this stuff took off, I was almost convinced by prior failures that success was an anomaly. In some ways, I guess it really is – I was just lucky enough to find myself part of it. Because of Alienworks, Sekai Project, and key individuals, I actually get to write wonderful VN’s. I have a platform for my ideas, like with Highway Blossoms, which would not exist without everything and everyone mentioned above. And with any luck, in the future, I’ll be able to continue to spearhead and be a part of projects and make cool stuff.

But what really blows my mind is that now I’m working with people I’ve admired for years, like Weee. At the beginning of the year I didn’t think any of this would happen, but somehow it did and I’m thankful for all of it, because I sometimes think I don’t deserve any of the friends, connections and opportunities I’ve been given this year. Thanks for everything. Here’s to 2016 — and more content, creativity, and gratefulness.”

-Syon

“It’s been a fantastic year for all of us at Alienworks. Seeing the world of The Human Reignition Project come out of our heads and onto the screen has been a brilliant experience, and I count myself incredibly lucky to be working with such a talented group of folks. More than that, Alienworks is far luckier to have such wonderful support from all of you guys. With your help, we’re going to be able to make HRP look and be more impressive than any of us had hoped, and I can’t wait. This year was fantastic, but next year’s going to be even better.

Thank you.”

-OrangeShavings

“Hey everybody!

It’s been quite the year here at Alienworks. Between working heavily on drafting up my route for the Human Reignition Project and watching the development of Highway Blossoms, it’s been feeling very lively these past few months. We’ve developed a little healthy competition to keep us motivated as we carry on through scene after scene of HRP stuff: Who can make their heroine the crowd favorite? Who can set and maintain the group record for speed of progress? I personally love a good challenge, so between similar writing and music games, I feel like I’m on top of my own game as we move into 2016. Speaking as a musician, I feel like the best way I can improve is simply through ad nauseam efforts into more and more completed and polished tracks. I love seeing people enjoy my works, and that satisfaction coupled with motivation and support from my coworker and good buddy Tim keep me primed and ready to keep improving my craft. Nothing would please more going into 2016 than to continue to see people enjoying our earnest efforts, and I can personally guarantee that we’re constantly working to make the best game we can!”

-Mondonater

“Like the others have said, this year has been filled with what seemed like unachievable goals and dreams coming true. Sometimes, it still doesn’t feel quite real. Thank you so much to everyone who has believed in us, and even to those who don’t or didn’t. Every bit of feedback that we get helps us become better. When I look back at my work from the beginning of the year, it feels like someone else wrote it. I hope to keep improving throughout ‘16 and beyond, and I deeply hope that everyone enjoys the games we create. Thanks to Sekai Project for giving us a chance. Thanks to you guys, our fans and audience, for giving us not just the means to keep working but also the reason. And finally, thanks to my teammates at Alienworks. I’m proud to call you guys not just partners but friends, and I couldn’t ask for better ones.”

-Raithfyre

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