Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Provisional RKS Developer Diary - As blind as a bat....

A decade of faithful service:
Happy New Year, everyone!  After a much-needed and well-deserved break, we're ready and willing to dive back into work.  For better or worse, however, fate had something else in mind:

As you can see from the photo to the right, my glasses have quite literally fallen apart on me in the past week.  My ophthalmologist is booked solid until late February, so I had to do a bit of legwork to find an optometrist that wasn't still on winter break.  If you can believe it, I hadn't realized that I'd been using the same pair of glasses for the past ten years...!

As of today, I have a new prescription and my order for new glasses has been placed and paid for (...for six hundred and thirty Canadian clams, I'd better get as much mileage out of the new one as I did its predecessor).  My new specs should be ready in 5 to 10 business days.

Until then, unfortunately, I'm forced to take it easy for a while.  I have astigmatism and a lazy left eye, so trying to read without glasses strains my eyes to the point of causing headaches.  The MacGuyver solution of attaching the better half of my glasses to my face with an elastic band works in small bursts (and looks absolutely ridiculous), but having the lens that close to my eye causes a different kind of eyestrain and headache.  That naturally means I won't be anywhere near as productive as usual for the next week or two.

Thankfully, our list of remaining tasks is relatively short.  As of this writing, the graphics work for the original RKS is complete.  We still need to implement the translated subtitles and the English script, as well as update the text engine to properly handle whitespace and wordwrapping (the stopgap solution we used for the fan-translation -- dummying out a single font character -- isn't an acceptable solution in a professional release by our standards).  After that, we'll need to update the game's manual with revised installation instructions and an expanded Q&A section.  Since things haven't quite gone according to plan on the voice acting front, the initial release unfortunately will not include English voices.  WOMI wishes for us to use the proceeds from the initial batch of sales to fund the voicework post-release.

As I said before, we're aiming for a Summer 2016 release window, and any addons we release after the fact (the English voicing included) will be free-of-charge (we don't believe in forcing people to pay for content that should have been available at launch).

In any event, I'll try and come up with one or two short Developer Diary entries for you in the interim.  I already have one such topic in mind; if there's anything about the release that you'd like to know about that has already been completed and wouldn't require a lengthy writeup to adequately discuss, feel free to ask away in the comments.

...My temples are not-so-subtly warning me that I've been staring at my laptop screen for too long, so I'll take that as my cue to wrap this up.  Until next time!


  1. Spring 2016? That's plesantly closer than I was expecting. Looking forward to adding RKS to my steam library.

    You still gonna make a post about the new password feature?

    1. I kinda doubt this will end up on steam.

      I also kinda doubt you'll generate enough sales to actually pay for the English voice acting, but best of luck anyways.

    2. It's going to have a Steam release, because arrangements for that have already been made. As far as English voice work goes, we'll see what happens.

  2. Of course. I'm just debating whether I should hold off on the topic until just before Freudenstachel's release, or if I should cover the topic briefly now (the changes to RKS's password scheme are fairly minor) and revisit the topic later on for Freudenstachel.

  3. Happy new year, everyone.

    Also off-topic, but I couldn't help but share this:

  4. I'd say it's kinda sad news though that the game is gonna be released without the English voices, especially after a big deal about them was made and whatnot even with the cast being announced. Is the game's money situation really THAT bad?

    1. I hear you; Xander and I were reeling when we were told to hit the brakes on the crowdfunding. Prior to that, I was paying each of our actors out of my own pocket. Considering my day job doesn't pay that well and I've been hit with a slew of emergency expenses that I can only barely afford, there's not much I can personally do without outside funding.

      WOMI himself stated that he does not want to use a crowdfunding model to raise funds for the game or its extra features. We don't have any choice but to respect his wishes on the matter.

    2. As much as it sucks, I'm cool with that... but any idea in regards to the reason why he wants it this way? ♥

      btw I was having a fantasy earlier. If I won it big in the lottery, paying you for the entire thing would be included in how I spent the money. But alas, I can only wish you good luck for now. ♥

    3. I'm honestly not sure. AGM advised against pressing the issue until after the game's release; we've reluctantly agreed to follow their advice.

      Oh, I'd love that. Too bad you're statistically more likely to get into a traffic accident or get struck by lightning... Still, I appreciate the thought.

  5. So, there's not going to be any funding or rewards or anything like the Prefundia page said?

    1. That has yet to be seen. WOMI does not want our English release to be financed via crowdfunding; he's hoping that the initial sales of the game will be enough to cover the cost of the voice acting. As you can imagine, we weren't happy that this objection was only brought to our attention after the Prefundia had been launched.

      Still, the purpose of a Prefundia is to gather data before officially launching into a funding campaign, so the Prefundia still serves its purpose as a "Coming Soon...!" page (Prefundia's own terminology, not mine).

      If sales of the game are strong, we should be able to implement many of our planned features post-release. I'm skeptical that we'd be able to raise enough for the Full Voice Support stretch goal, but I don't think it'd be too tough to earn enough to fund the initial batch of English voices. As long as RKS generates the proper buzz within the retro gaming community -- especially the Megaman fandom -- we shouldn't have much trouble reaching our initial goal. The Summer Games Done Quick coverage of the game and our own experience demoing the game for others have proven that many people would buy the game if they only knew it existe. As fans, we need to do our absolute best to spread the word about this little gem.

      Also, we're not opposed to accepting donations to help offset some of our initial costs. We're hesitant to put up a PayPal link, though -- it's too easy for spammers to use the address within the link as a launching point to flood our inbox with junk mail...