[Ciel Devlog #29] Aging Music

Hello there, Fledglings! Jasmine here to talk about what has been going on in the audio department.

The Goal

A lot has taken place since the demo launch and Kickstarter. Majority of the audio for Ciel’s child phase was sketched out, which helped set the stage for melodies and themes to be re-experienced as she aged. As stated in the K.S., the music grows with Ciel – child (80s pop, American and Japanese influenced),teen (Funk/Jazz inspired), and adult (Jazz Orchestral).

     

 

My goal is for you guys to feel Ciel’s adolescence, her ‘too cool for school years’, and her years of maturity

The Workload

As of now, I am 95% done sketching adult themes for Ciel, and 80% done sketching teen themes!

What’s left:

  1. Create sketches of the remaining themes
  2. Write sheet music for instrumentalists (squee!),
  3. Finalizing mixes and balance. 

This doesn’t include edits for the voice over artists (which will be discussed in another update)!

(Beginning work on a theme!)

*(Sketching [personal terminology] =  a rough outline of a piece, before final audio recordings, mixing, etc).

The Inspiration

To give you guys an idea of what I have been chewing on as I work to finalize ideas and soundscapes, I decided to post a few tracks that heavily influenced Ciel’s teen and adult mood:

Ciel Teen

Casiopea – Midnight Rendezvous

Tatsuro Yamashita – Someday (but honestly, the whole album)

A Gilchrist – Time

Ciel Adult

Reijoruo Koroku – Aura Battler Dunbine Anime OST

Osamu Shoji -Pastorale

Nozomi Aoki – Hokuto No Ken Anime OST

The (WIP!) Results

Now, this update wouldn’t be complete without giving you guys a taste of this musical “aging”, featuring the Conversation and Exploration Menu themes! I hope I have done them justice!

Disclaimer: The audio below is still a work in progress. It does not, in any shape or form, reflect the quality of the final product. Also, please enjoy the *horrible* trumpet solo, played by yours truly, in the adult exploration menu theme. This is why you hire professionals, guys.

Thanks, everyone! This wouldn’t be possible without each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Jasmine

Also don’t forget to join our discord server to find out more about the game: https://discord.gg/KywHrWV

[Ciel Devlog #28] Ciel’s Voice in Action and Upcoming Battles!

 

Hi. wltr3565 here. We still have a lot of content to implement before the game can be considered as gold, but we’re working hard to make sure the game can be released on time as clean and complete as possible!

While at it, let’s take a look of some Battles that you and your child have to tackle when doing Activities and Jobs!

  • Dancing Course

Dancing is about feeling the rhythm. When you Execute Sets according to the rhythm, you will get a Score boost. The Rhythm Bonus will appear in later Activities and Jobs, so you will want to master the rhythm as soon as you can.

  • Scout

We have made the game to have multiple enemies in some Battles now. To be able to survive the onslaught it’s best to read their movements and react accordingly. Hit them before they hit you!

There will be more tricky and difficult stuff that she and you have to face as both of you progress, so look forward to them! The road for her to achieve her dream won’t be an easy one.

Also, have a preview of Ciel’s voice in action!

Last but not least, we’re going to have a booth in Game Prime 2018! You can try the latest demo build of Ciel Fledge and buy some limited merchandise exclusive only at this event! The event is at Balai Kartini, Kuningan, Jakarta, Indonesia. We will be there on July 14th and 15th!

 

For more info, you can visit our Facebook or Twitter.

That’s all for now. See you at the event!

[Ciel Devlog #27] NPC Characters Development, Battle Technique, and Exploration

Hi everyone, it’s time for another developer blog. This time it’s my turn to write our current progress so far on the perspective of graphic designer and writer. In this devlog, I want to highlight one of the difficult aspect in this development for me, which is writing. The other two aspect, I will only touch it lightly from the grafix side, with further technical explanation I leave for the next devlog entry from the programmer (wltr3565).

NPC Characters Development

With the writing of main story of the game complete, now I’m moving to write NPCs story. This is the most difficult things to write so far, with the game set over the span of 10 years, there is so much to put in consideration when developing each NPC story. People change, their ideas, their values, their appearances, this is what I want to convey into the writing. How to make them at least believable as human being that grows with Ciel. Her happy-go-lucky friend in childhood may become a bitter, vengeful adult over 10 years time, her uninteresting, stingy childhood friend may become the most altruistic person as an adult, and so on. Especially correlating NPCs character development with main story event is very stressful. So many things to synchronize and recheck to avoid plot hole.

Vacation on Ark 3 artificial beach

 

There is also a problem of NPC relationship level (shown with stars icon) with Ciel, which you can already see in the current playable demo as the separate tab in the focus tree. At first I want to tie characters cut-scene and event with how close Ciel is with the NPCs. But I realize with how the time passage in the game works, this is not viable. An NPC event/cut-scene that must happen in Ciel’s childhood chapter may be postponed into her teen or adult chapters if the required relationship levels aren’t reached yet, and when this event/cut-scene happen outside of childhood chapter, the context and correlation with what’s currently happening in the present will get unbelievably messy.

School building corridor

 

Thankfully we have resolved such problem with new system that is currently in the implementation phase. In a nutshell, NPC related story event and cut-scenes will be tied to each chapter, it will no longer have the steep requirement of leveling (read:grinding) characters relationship level, instead you only have to do a simple objective on the focus tree to unlock the cut-scenes. The event will still fire regardless to avoid plot hole if you choose just to ignore the simple objective, but you may miss the reward incentive that you may get if you do the simple objective. Character relationship level will now tied strictly to NPCs power in battle and to unlock battle technique which I will talk about below.

Battle Technique

Battle technique is that little neat three icons in a column in the battle interface, with so little explanation on what it do and how to activate it. I realize that along Exploration, Battle Technique, or just Tech in short, is one of the many aspect of the game that is very obscure. I can’t really explain it in this blog since tech (and exploration) is programmer territory (wltr3565) but its function is similar to special attack for Ciel. You can unleash this “special attack” to help her in battle.

Battle tech in Technique interface menu.

 

To acquire this battle tech, among many things, increasing NPCs character level is one of the ways.

Aside of battle tech, there is also addition of morale, deck switch button and NPCs auto attack in battle. I think the best short explanation can be seen in the mock video below, with caption from our facebook post. The previous screenshot in-action! With working deck switch and you can see that the NPCs will also help by auto attacking the enemy without the need to “clicking” their portrait to trigger their attack. Every NPCs have their own signature auto-attack. Juno will tackle the enemy, Becky shoot with her “wolves”, and Sylphine passively healing Ciel’s HP (each auto attack gfx not implemented yet).

Exploration

Exploration is finally getting the love. This past few weeks, I have completed all the background images for each exploration stage, with improvement in some of them thanks to the suggestion from our discord users, many thanks to them! Here are moving gifs of some of the stage (two of them is using placeholder intro sprite movement).

Exploration will also get an overhaul, but the detail I will leave for the next devlog entry.

Thank you all for reading, see you in the next devlog!

Also, if you want to follow the development more closely (and interact with the devs), you can join our discord channel here: https://discord.gg/KywHrWV

-num

 

[Ciel Devlog #26] Main Story and Voice Acting Progress

Heya, wltr3565 here. The game’s content implementation is currently going rather well. We have completed the writing and implementation of the cutscenes for the Main Story. We have already implemented the cutscenes for all the Activities too.

About the Main Story, we can’t show you any visuals of it because, yes, spoilers. But we can tease you about 1 thing: This game will have a True Ending and Final Boss.

This Final Boss, however, is not necessary to be defeated to clear the game and see your Ciel’s fate after the 10 (in-game) years of journey with her. But this True Ending will affect your Ciel’s fate too, unlocking more possibilities for the ending. Taking down this Final Boss will be a difficult challenge, though, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Are you ready to raise her to be capable of breaking the chains of fate?

Speaking of the progress of Voice Acting, the voice lines for Ciel are currently being recorded. The voice actress is doing a good job for the performance. Although because of the circumstances (especially Ramadhan), the progress is rather sluggish. But the lines should be ready in no time.

Regarding the voices for the NPCs, we’re still finding the right voice actors/actresses. When the time is right, we will show you some samples of the voices.

Finally…

The progress of the Background illustrations is getting along well. The ones above are for both the Hospital and Pet Shop. Yes, there will be some Activities that are set within either the two of them.

That’s all for now. Bye!

Don’t forget to join our discord channel if you want to hang out and chat with the developers! – https://discord.gg/KywHrWV

[Ciel Devlog #25] Back To Devlog

Hi everyone, num here. It’s been a while since any devlog was posted. The original plan was having a twice a month devlog to track development and also with an added benefit to hone our writing skills. Unfortunately, the schedule is quite messed up last month since we have to prepare for and run the campaign. With the campaign ends up successfully now the team will be back to our usual development schedule.

Development Progress During The Campaign

While in the previous devlog we always feature some sort of picture or gifs of anything new in the development. During the month, I focused into writing the main story line content instead. So there is not much to show in the graphic side, aside of 1-2 new backgrounds. That’s right, aside on working on the design and graphical side, I’m also the main writer for Ciel Fledge. To put it into a perspective, despite the name “studio” we are not really a studio to speak, the core development team consists of me and wltr3565 (wltr3565 is responsible for the programming side and also a co-writer) with the help of an assistant programmer and a dedicated composer (which is also helping to proofread the writing). So you can imagine the amount of work we currently undertake.

With the main storyline content almost complete. I can focus more on the graphical and design part of the development, which I’m happy to be back. Almost all of the graphical content currently focused on Ciel’s child section, next time I will make sure that her teen and adult section get some spotlight!

What we are doing now

We are back in the development full speed right now. On the graphical side, works continues on graphic assets for chapter 2 and 3 (Ciel’s teen and adult years). I’ve been designing and creating some of Ciel’s default outfit for teen and adult with more in progress to come. Here are some example of Ciel’s teen default outfit that can be mix and matched with each other.

Variety of Ciel Teen outfits.

On the programming side. wltr3565 is implementing all the writings to in-game cut scenes and events. With the amount of writings, it will take a while before it’s all finished. That aside, I’ve also been in contact with various voice actor/actress and hopefully we will start begin working with them in the coming weeks!

For all the Kickstarter backers, especially those on Item Designer and Fashion Designer tier, we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss and start designing and creating your rewards after the bureaucracy with Kickstarter is done.

Thank you for reading and see you in the next devlog!