[Ciel Devlog #33] The Limit the Sky Allows

Heya, wltr3565 here. The game’s progress right now is pretty close to the game’s conclusion. If things go well, the game will be clearable by December. By that point, the game will only require several tweaks and balance adjustments until the game can be considered gold. For now, let’s have this devlog explain the current state of the game.

The Dilemma of Simplification

Firstly, as the game’s programmer I wish we never have to reduce the game’s skill ceiling. It must be admitted that the streamlining we have done to the game reduces your options to push the game’s boundaries. The game is designed from the very start for each Day to be detailed. The 5+2 recipe is already good too. In the long run being fixed with 4+3 (or 2+5, 6+1, etc) recipe will feel suffocating. Your daughter’s Max Stamina can increase, after all. She will be able to handle things better as time goes on.

Simplifications have its own price.

Although in the end, maybe this is a necessary sacrifice. Inputting 7 unique decisions in a row instead of 4 might be too intimidating. It reduces the number of button presses up to 3 presses to complete 1 Schedule as well. Still, I’m concerned about this. I hope you guys can give us feedback if this simplification is worth it or not. For this game, the sky is the one that decides the allowed limit. Either way, it’s our job to make your decision-making in the game as comfortable and meaningful as possible.

Also, the game’s long playtime estimation is because of the slow max animation speed of the Week Progress. No simplification can drastically reduce the game’s actual speed. We still need to test this by playing through this game. We’re targeting to have the game clearable under 5 – 6 hours with full-speed skips from start to finish. That means the game have to be able to make 1 Week to be over within 37 seconds. I do believe the game can do better than that. We will adjust the game’s speed further when the team is done clearing the game multiple times.

By the way, regarding the Grid and List mode of the Schedule interface, we’re still figuring out how can you guys choose between the two. We will tell you guys when it got properly implemented. One of the reasons why the game’s Schedule interface got a facelift is to make the process more comfortable, especially when you’re using a touch screen.

Ciel’s Hidden Power…?

The thing that doesn’t get simplified? The Battles. It has returned to its original form. Your daughter deserves to have her capabilities to be tested to her limits on various situations, after all.

The Battle, fully featured again.

The Technique Slots returned to become 3 again. You can put in any kind of Techniques as you wish too. No restrictions because of differing types! Put any of them as you wish and experiment with them to your heart’s contents! Social norms still apply, though, so please be careful. You can use the the ones marked with the caution mark, of course, but you will get penalized. Oh, do you feel like the Techniques are useless? We have made the game more difficult and designed more around the Techniques, so please look forward to many challenges the game will provide!

Too close for comfort.

Your daughter’s Power Up (Wish we have a cooler and more accurate name for this one) is still available. This is tied to her SPI now. The details? Let’s just say the better her SPI the better this power will work for now. When she uses this it she will get so focused it’s as if the time has stopped. Yes, you can stop the time with this. Great for when you’re in a pinch, huh? The cards will turn into rainbow too. Setting them up will give her Rainbow Power Stock. It will substitute any color for the Techniques!

Now she can’t use her Power Up anymore.

This will strain her, however, so she will only be able to use it once per Battle. Use it wisely!

Oh, the Card list on the right will tell you which Card will appear when you Draw one. This is available when she has enough SPI. A great ability to have to be able to plan ahead!

The Supports’ Arsenal

Oh, it’s time to talk about the weapons.

Bat, SMG and dual-pistols.

To be frank, the weapons for the Supports are just cosmetic. But hey, those do tell how they will do their job, don’t they? Especially Becky and her indispensable dual-pistols.

 

Exciting Explorations

About the Exploration, this part of the game is 5 Zones away to be completed. I can’t share much, but I can share with you some stuff that you can encounter early on:

Don’t underestimate the Sparrows. They’re out for blood.

 

The team will encounter hazards like this. If she has enough SPI maybe she can do something about it…

 

Hey, what’s inside?

We have adjusted the game to only have 1 Node per Day in Explorations. In other words, you will only encounter 7 things at most within 1 Week of Exploring. We have to reduce it to ensure the 5 – 6 hours playtime target achievable. At least the amount of Years you have to dedicate to be able to clear all of them stays the same.

Lower City is a good choice to quickly raise her STR.

Also, the game now tells you what are the Stats that will be raised from Exploring the Zone. If you feel that Training feels sluggish at raising her Main Stats, maybe it’s time for her to take some strolls below.

 

 

That’s all for now. For those of you who want to try the latest experimental build you can find the download link and the changelogs on our Discord server:

https://discord.gg/KywHrWV

Why on the Discord? As explained by the illustrator, the experimental builds are very fresh from the oven, both in stability and design. You can also give us your feedback as soon as possible via Discord too. We don’t recommend the build, though. Some stuff are still missing and haven’t been ironed out yet like design oversight and lack of any explanation in-game. For first time players, please download the stable version instead:

[Demo Release] Ciel Fledge Alpha 6 Demo

That’s it for now. See all of you later.

[Ciel Devlog #32] Streamlining The Game

Hi, back again to another Ciel Fledge devlog! In the past two weeks there have been a quite a lull from the development team, since we are working hard to fix an unseen but apparent problem of the game, which is pacing and play through time. Ciel Fledge is designed with having a multiple ending in mind, but… a complete play through with the current build may take around 20 – 35 hours of play time from the beginning to ending. Imagine that with a multiple ending of more than a 10 with other variants, it would be super tedious for those among us who are a completionist player. Which is why we decided to take a drastic measure to streamline the game. Rest easy that this is by no means dumbing down the game but making it more accessible and cutting down unnecessary hog in the play time. Alright, before we continue detailing what are getting streamlined in the game so far, here is some artwork of Becky (apparently she is quite popular with the players, everybody loves hoodie girl)

 

Streamlining The Scheduling Process

The “main engine” of the game is the scheduling window. This is where the player decide Ciel’s schedule and hone her potential in the future. So much have been put into detail here, but then again, sometime, too much detail is not always equal of being good. After rigorous testing, we decided that the 7 day slots + 2 auxiliary (player activity and meal) slots configuration is too complex for its own good to the point of making the game unnecessarily tedious. For that very reason, we overhauled the slots configuration to 3+1 “day” slots and 2 auxiliary slots configuration. You can see how it looks like in the screenshot below:

New schedule window with Grid icons configuration

With the new “3+1” day, all activities, training, and jobs now take 2 day slots on the weekday. You can not do miscellaneous activities such as shopping, social on weekdays. There is now a dedicated “weekend” slot (bottom slot, with blue button and no.4) where you can do miscellaneous activities freely and training/jobs with weekend penalties to simulate the disdain of working and go to school in weekend.

New schedule window with List icons configuration

Aside from the change of how scheduling works, its visual get an overhaul too. You can already notice by comparing the first and second screenshots, that you can now freely choose between “grid view” and “list view” for all the activities. Sort buttons, which rarely utilized now completely gone. All information of the activities now is in the center, displayed in some sort of “trading card” view for more complete and concise information, including stamina cost and such. Probably the biggest addition is the “forecast” information on top of the “trading card” view, displaying the four stats, Stamina, Discipline, Mood, Stress which immediately get “simulated” depending on what activities you pick. This way you can prepare and plan your adopted daughter weekly activities better.

Battle and Techniques

Another in line for the streamlining ax is how battle and techniques works. Battle still works the same but it is now more consistent with each activities. Technique on the other hand, previously near to necessary and useless, now may prove helpful and may be the one to save you in a losing battle. Technique slots gone from three to two, in exchange, there is now a “Power Up” technique that Ciel can always use in every type of battle. Technique now is also more specific to the type of battle, you can no longer use them everywhere. Fight Battle Technique only work on Fight Battle, Score Battle Technique only work on Score battle and so on. Aside from all those adjustment, there is also under the hood balancing adjustment and enhancement to make battle more enjoyable, fair, and rewarding to the player. You can see how “Power Up” works in the video below:

 

Experimental Demo

With the major streamlining changes detailed above, another aspect of the game that will get streamlining is Exploration, but let’s leave the detail about it in the next devlog. For those of you who want to try the newest, experimental build, you can find the download link and the changelogs on our Discord server here: https://discord.gg/KywHrWV.

Why should the download link be on the discord server? Because considering the experimental nature of this demo build, it may not be stable and prone to bugs/crash and everything may be changed depending on the feedbacks from the players. Report about bugs/crash, feedbacks, and critiques can be delivered quickly to us on our discord server. Also with all the streamline changes, a new tutorial explaining what they do haven’t been made yet, so for new player, it’s advisable that you try the stable demo build instead, which can be downloaded here: http://studionamaapa.com/2018/09/demo-release-ciel-fledge-alpha-6-demo/

That’s all for this devlog, thank you for reading and see you in the next devlog!

-num

[Ciel Devlog #31] Tutorials Remade

Hello everyone! RikuoTanaka here, bringing you the latest devlog.
It’s been a while since I posted one now, does it?

Development of Ciel Fledge still continues to this day.
Let’s just get into it, shall we?

After reviewing numerous feedbacks, we realize that most players who played the demo stopped
playing before finishing the tutorials that are placed for the first few weeks in the game.

Therefore, we have decided to revamp the tutorials. Specifically, their timing of appearance.
Tutorials will now only appear when you access a menu for the first time, making them unobtrusive to the game.
Here is an example:

Several tweaks are also made to make the tutorials feel less lengthy than before.
This will improve the pacing of the game. You will no longer get bored after finishing several tutorials.

We also added a little shortcut in the Schedule Menu:

A shortcut for the Next Week button.

You can now press a button to make the cursor hover to the Next Week button instantly.

More contents are being added to the game as well. Here’s a little tease:

More variety of shops!

That’s all for this week’s devlog! It might not be much, but trust me, there is more to come.

This is RikuoTanaka, signing out! Have a good day!

[Demo Release] Ciel Fledge Alpha 6 Demo

Hi everyone, it has been a while since our last update. First of all, we are still working on the game as you can monitor our progress directly on our discord server here: https://discord.gg/D3NmDXb

Secondly, we want to apologize that we have failed to deliver the game on the target date of August 2018. Various circumstances have forced us to delay the game release.

To make up for it, we have decided to release a new demo that contains many new contents. This will be the last demo before the final release, so we hope that you enjoy it!

Release date?

Concerning the actual, final release date, we have decided to keep it as TBA now as we are working to find the perfect time window for release and some confidential, secret deal to make the game available on [censored]. We are working to make it possible. All we ask is that for you guys, to be patient… And hope for the best to us!

Demo Download:

The new demo can be downloaded here:

Steam

itch.io

Game Jolt

Version Changelog:

– Fixed several bugs.
– Tutorials have been overhauled.
– Each Activity now have their own unique Battles.
– Partial Voice Acting for your daughter and important NPCs have been implemented.
– More story cutscenes have been added.
– The prologue of the game has been overhauled.
– Lower City has been expanded.

[Ciel Devlog #30] Variety on Battle Minigames

Hi everyone, it’s time for another devlog entry from the team, and this time, it’s my turn. Time flew so fast, we are already in devlog no.30 and it’s August, the supposed delivery month for all the rewards on our Kickstarter page. Which I have to say, on behalf of the team, we are not ready yet to deliver the game and all the rewards… Due to various circumstances. I also want to emphasize that we are not abandoning the development of the game, you can always see the progress and monitor the development on our discord server here: https://discord.gg/KywHrWV

For the lateness of the delivery of the game, I want to apologize upfront, and to make up for the late delivery, we will be releasing a new playable demo by the end of August. With the actual release date of the game currently postponed as TBA (to be announced).

That aside, let’s back to the actual content of the biweekly development log.

In the last few weeks, with story content, and character portraits 99% done, I’m shifting the focus of my task to create background graphics for the often overlooked part of the game. The “battle minigames”. While the core of the minigames is “match three” like gameplay, all of them will have different and unique feels depending on what jobs and activities.

Fortune telling minigame.
Housekeeping minigame.

For example, here are two different minigames, while the match 3 interface looks similar, the objective of each minigames will be different. The first one, Fortune telling minigames has an objective of: “Execute 12 sets, Mistakes and Shuffles resets score.” this is to reflect that in fortune telling, you must do no mistake to your client. In the second one, the objective is: “Defeat the enemy! Make haste!” to reflect that Ciel must defeat the cockroach that disturb the peace of her house.

In the video above there is another running minigame that have different objectives with the other two. The game will be brimming with such minigames to bring you fun while raising Ciel. Of course, if somehow the minigames seems to be distracting or you just don’t want to play it, it’s entirely skippable!

Also here’s another teaser of what I’ve been working:

The detail of what this stuff actually is probably will be on the next entry! See you guys in the next devlog!