Towards the Summit

Heya y’all,

Another month’s gone by, and more progress has been made.

Straight on to the art front, we can announce Shion’s sprite art has been completed. Mondonater is naturally extremely pleased to have his heroine gorgeously rendered, while the rest of the writing staff look on in silent jealousy. We’ve all been impressed by the speed and quality of Myuuto, our sprite artist, and are definitely looking forward to more of his work.

Writing still proceeds, with the final few scenes being finished off now. The word count has surpassed sixty thousand, and seems set to continue growing. Editing is also progressing well, with some early scenes now almost finalised.

Music production continues, which is great as we’re finally starting to implement the monstrous musical backlog Tim and Mondo have built up into the actual build. It’s been interesting trying to match music to scenes, and even more interesting finding how the result affects the mood.

Other than that, we’ve had discussions on our main menu, story, and, most heatedly, on whether to use an introductory lyrical song. No promises, but with most of the groundwork laid, we’re getting to the stage where we can add polish.

One sad bit of news is to do with CGs or, more specifically, the lack of them. After sorting out our budget, we’ve worked out we only have just have enough to cover the backgrounds and sprite art, even with the extremely resaonable rates both Badriel, our background artist, and Myuuto have offered us. That’s not to say we won’t have CGs in the demo, just that there will be far fewer than we would like. We’re now set on taking this to kickstarter when we have a demo, and so we’re hoping we can gather enough funds to fully finance the art department then, and get some really jaw-dropping scenes.

Still no ETA on the demo, unfortunately, but with the script and BGs so close to done, it’s really now a matter of waiting on sprites, then polishing and directing. We’re sorry to have kept you all waiting so long, but hey, we promise you a really kick-ass demo in exchange. Look forward to it.

-Auric Orange

Maximum surprise
An example of Shion’s new sprite art, courtesy of Myuuto.
Senri a best.
Some character designs from CG artist, Hibiki9.

Delays

Hey guys. Bit of bad news here, so bear with me for a while.

If you haven’t been able to tell by the lack of an “IT’S READY!”  at the start of this announcement, we’ve run into a few setbacks.

After our imminent release was announced two months ago, things kinda got crazy. As we were trying to put all the finishing touches on everything, scrambling to get scripts finalized and all that jazz, we unfortunately  had to part ways with our sprite artist, Artist_Apprentice. While we’re sad to see him go, we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Sadly, that’s not the end of the personnel changes. Guy and myself are no longer writers, due to him being too busy with personal matters, and me being a useless blob of uselessness. At least I can make a pretty mean blog post though, right?

Anywho, left with incomplete sprites for the demo, we did the only thing we could and negotiated contracts with new artists. We’ve since filled the vacant character artist position, and also picked up someone to work on CGs.

It will take a little more time and work to get caught back up to where we were, but we’re pretty content with the quality of art we’re going to be able to have.

Getting back on topic with the drops in the writing staff, we’ve thus picked up two new writers, Syon and OrangeShavings. They’re pretty damn good, so look forward to some awesome routes! With the change in staff though, unfortunately I have to announce some even sadder news (probably the worst of all), Hiyori is being cut from the script.. I know you all will be devastated by this (after all, we all knew she was best girl) but we all just felt it was the right direction to take. With her departure, we are still going to have another route, which means an all new girl, so look forward to an announcement for her in the future!

All this is disappointing, and we’re sorry for getting everyone’s hopes up with promises of an imminent demo release. We’ve learned our lesson, and the next time we announce a release, it will be when it’s actually finished.

It’s not all bad though, with these changes, we’re feeling pretty good about the direction we’re heading in. Things are starting to look really nice. We’ve had some editors look over the script, holes in the story are being filled with some much needed scenes, and the art is looking better than ever, so don’t lose all faith in us just yet! We still plan on giving you an awesome game, so stay hyped!

-Your favorite Alienworks member,

Calistilaigh

A little treat for our loyal fans, some sketchwork from our new CG artist, Hibiki9!

A Blog Post

Greetings, Earthlings!

It’s been a while since we’ve updated, so we wanted to change that. I really have a bad habit of writing overdue progress reports, don’t I?

A few big things have happened since we last chatted. For one thing, we’ve sorted out some issues and settled some arguments (while starting a few others) and now have a rough estimate of when it’ll be feasible to release a demo. The answer might be sooner than you except.

Next month, just in time for our two-year anniversary, you should be able to play through a demo of “The Human Reignition Project.” The demo will span through Act 1, which is by our counts nearly 50,000 words right now, and still growing. You’ll meet nearly all of our main characters and get a pretty good idea of what the world of the HRP is like. Then you can look forward to the full release still a few years away. We hope you’ll be as hooked on it as we are.

Of course, such a long period of productivity isn’t entirely without its own setbacks. One of our writers, OilySalmon, had to leave the project for personal reasons. Consequently, the ever talented Auric has stepped up to take his place. After some heroine-swapping, we ended up with Auric writing for Senri and yours truly taking over Yukino’s route. I hope you like seeing your favorite bespectacled beauty find her way into all sorts of yuri endeavors.

On the flip side, Arty continues arting away, and has been putting out some stellar new sprite designs and style upgrades. You’ll have to wait a bit longer to check out the new cuteness, but I promise you it’s worth it.

While Arty’s sprites are matchless, we are in the process of looking for a CG artist or two to help round out the team. If you think you’ve got what it takes to reignite humanity (one CG at a time), then please shoot us an email here on the site so we can take a look at your portfolio and we can discuss payment as well.

You might be wondering how exactly we’re funding this whole thing. Right now, it’s out of our own pockets. But, if you’re interested in helping us out and maybe snagging some neat HRP-stuff for yourself, then keep your eyes up for a Kickstarter or Patreon sometime in the future. I’ll even throw in my favorite sweatshirt.

Want some advance access to the game though? We’re planning to bring on a couple beta testers once our demo build is complete, to give an outside perspective to the whole thing. Aside from a few contacts of our own, we’ll be giving you guys a chance to help out too. More info on an application process coming soon.

That’s about it for now. See you at the next update.

 

Hitomi by Geckolion
Hitomi Fanart by Geckolion 

Halfway to Demo!

Hey guys. So I know we’ve been quiet lately, but we’ve still been doing what we can to keep everything going nice and smoothly. As such, after quite some time of intense outlining, drafting, and editing, we finally have some exciting news to share: We have finished the entirety of Act One. That’s not all, however. We are also currently working to make a build of said act. That really shouldn’t take too long, so that means that work on Act 2 will begin very soon. Focused work specifically, I mean. As of the current moment, we already have a bit of progress into the second act. As has been the case in the past, I can’t give out an exact time or even an estimate of time, but the next step after getting Act Two drafted and edited and nice is to release a fully working Demo (Acts One and Two comprise our common route). We’re going to keep working as hard as we can in the mean time in order to hopefully give you, the player, an enjoyable game experience.

Act One Draft Outline Complete!

I’ll admit, things haven’t been progressing very quickly for the last week or two. College finals, computer meltdowns, and full-time jobs have gotten in the way for a few of our members, and things have naturally slowed. They’ll be picking back up soon, but in the meantime I thing you’re all due for an update. This one’s a pretty big one.

We’ve finally finished our draft outline of Act One! All 21 major scenes in this act are now fully detailed. The only thing left is to go over the outline to fix inconsistencies, throw some extra (but still meaningful) scenes into the mix to pad things out and get back to editing and writing. After that, we can start commissioning some more backgrounds and get those sprites updated. That means you’ll be seeing new art from us relatively soon, which is always awesome. I might be a little too optimistic in saying this, but once everyone gets back into high gear, it shouldn’t be too long before we start needing beta readers for our Act One demo. But you didn’t hear it from me…

Fifteen Thousand Plus

The Human Reignition Project has gone through a few iterations and false starts before it became the story it is today. One of those iterations was a nice, campy little Slice-of-Life story about a kooky old professor dragging a group of regular people along to take part in wild shenanigans while learning the importance of human connection. This, aside from its current form, is the Human Reignition Project that we stuck with the longest. It seemed a decent enough story, the setting was nice, and the characters appeared interesting.

The only problem was that it wasn’t, and they weren’t. But we never noticed that our story didn’t have a story to it, that it was just a group of people sort of aimlessly wandering around without motivation or reason. The characters had depth in our minds, but they didn’t have any real involvement, because again, there was no story to speak of. And the worst part of it all? We had no appreciation for The Holy Outline. Our outline at the time probably topped out at around two hundred words for the first act, reasoning with ourselves that even though we couldn’t figure out any more details for a particular scene, we’d just leave it to the writers to ‘figure it out later’ and patted ourselves on the back when we thought that would give the writers the greatest amount of flexibility (notice: we’re the writers.)

And so we thought up scenes and wrote. We wrote what came to us, as it came to us, outlines and structure be damned. After all, it can’t possibly be that difficult to write a story with multiple branches involving at least six heroines, right? It wasn’t too much longer before we wrote ourselves right into a corner, and we were left with a sickly script that limped spasmodically from one event to another. By the time we realized it had to be scrapped and the idea reworked from the ground up, the script topped out at around fifteen thousand words.

But this week, a little over two weeks after we started drafting again, we’ve finally reached and surpassed that word count. Our shiny new rough draft, with its interweaving plot and characters that actually matter and develop throughout the story, is over 15,000 words long so far. And we’ve not even done with the first act yet. Hell, we’re not even done with the first quarter of the first act yet, and we couldn’t be happier with how things are shaping up!

The further we get into writing, the more necessary it’s getting to hire a CG artist to finally fill out our ranks. If anyone reading this post is interested in applying for the position, click here to get an idea of our initial contract terms, and send an email along with your portfolio to AlienWorks.Recruiting@gmail.com

Yep, we’re still here.

Hey! Calistilaigh here. Yeah, THAT guy.

Today you’ll have the pleasure of getting all the news and hubbub from me, myself, personally!

Our first bit of news is that our outlining is nearly finished! Everything’s pretty much laid out, and we’re just putting the finishing touches on a few things to really pull the story together. We’ve got a hell of a game in store for you guys, I guarantee it!

Second bit of news, our Soundcloud has broken 400 viewers! This is record breaking stuff people, pretty soon we’ll be set to conquer the world!

..But uh, you didn’t hear that from me.

In all seriousness though, if you haven’t given it a listen yet, check it out. We’ve got some really talented musicians working round the clock to bring great music to our fans.

https://soundcloud.com/alienworks-1

Third bit of news, unfortunately, our character writer for Senri Kanzaki, Rific, has departed from the project due to personal reasons. While we at AlienWorks are sad to see our friend go, we’re here to assure you that Senri’s route will not be affected. We’ve picked up one of our former members, Raithfyre, to take over from where Rific left off, and we feel that things should proceed without any issues. So for all of you Senri fans, fear not! There will be plenty of hot, steamy action for you to enjoy when the time is right!

Our last bit of news, which I suppose I should have mentioned from the beginning, is that WE’VE ACTUALLY STARTED WRITING! Woo! I know, I know, I can’t really believe it either. It’s really happening folks, we’re actually accomplishing tasks at a reasonable rate, and you’ll be here to witness it all!

Well, not really, but you’ll be able to see us talk about it all excited-like, which is practically just as good!

Anyway, I think that pretty much wraps up this update, so I’ll leave you to your own devices now. If you have any questions or concerns about the project, feel free to comment in the blog, or drop by our IRC! While we aren’t able to reveal any specifics about the story, we’d be glad to entertain your inquiries best we can!

See you around!

Updates and Our Opinion On Deadlines

Hey everyone. The past two weeks have gone really smoothly for us at AlienWorks, and we thought it might be time to give you guys a little more info on what’s been going on behind the scenes since our last post.

First and most exciting news first: We’ve tweaked our story a little bit to help things flow a lot more smoothly, adding a whole new subplot that’s meant to tie up a few of our loose plot threads and bring them back into the overall plot in an interesting way. Things are way less ‘jerky’ now when it comes to plot developments, since they now all have some connection to something that’s happened earlier in the story. I really wish I could go into detail about what we’ve thought up, because – and not to toot our AW horn – it’s pretty awesome and leads everything to an amazing climax.

The only small downside to having a new, amazing subplot is that we need to integrate it into our current story in a way that will make it seem like it was always there. This basically means we need to mess with a few flowcharts, edit a few scenes, and add some others. No big deal.

The second thing we’ve gotten going again since last post is our background image production. We’re starting to produce a few more of those to catch up with what we’ve outlined so far in the story. They all look great, because our art team keeps getting better and better as time goes by. We’re all looking forward to seeing how much they’ll both have improved by the end of this.

And speaking of “the end of this”, you guys might be wondering just when that will be. After all, The Human Reignition Project (in one form or another) has been in development for over a year. We must have some idea of how fast we can work by now, right? We should at least have some estimate for when we’ll be releasing a demo. And the truth is, we do. But you won’t find anything on this site that says “Q4 2015” or “late September this year” when we mention the possibility of a demo.

We’ve learned through our own experience and the experiences of others that announcing deadlines at such an early stage in development (we’ve only just figured out the general direction to take this game in the last, what, six months?) can be either a good idea or a  terrible idea. We don’t want to get people’s hopes up only to disappoint them in the end when it turns out we’re going to miss our deadline for one reason or another.

For most of the AW crew, this is the first visual novel we’ve worked on, and definitely the first one we’ve worked on together. We spent a very long time doing not much more than just learning the ropes, and we all know we still have a huge amount left to learn. Most amateur first-time visual novel projects fail, and others might be released years after their first announced project deadline. We don’t want to belong to either category, so for now and probably until release, we’ll be keeping our deadlines private.

Of course if you’re really determined to find out our internal project deadlines, feel free to drop by our IRC and hang around. You might find out more about our project than we’ll ever post on here.