If you're reading this, you must have been sticking around for about five years.*
I want to express my gratitude for everyone that has supported and encouraged me over this time.
I've said it many many times before, but I didn't expect the simple game I made to receive so much attention. Because of that, many interesting things have happened, and now I can even spend my time making another game.
It seems both of us received a lot of happiness from this occurrence.
If it's okay, I would like to keep striving to do things that make both of us happy.
Let me know what you think about that.
* Since the UNDERTALE demo released in 2013, the game has really existed for 7 years. It's already been more than 25% of my life...
I will make another.
I am making a game called "DELTARUNE." It is the second game in the UNDERTALE series.
The game will be released in many "Chapters," the first of which I released two years ago on Halloween. Since that time, I've been working hard to figure out the rest of the game.
However, it's a game that's much harder to make than UNDERTALE.
- Graphics are more complicated and several times more involved
- Systems are more complicated
- Exposes the weak points of my creative and artistic ability
- Plot is much harder to tie together (more characters, more important locations)
- Significantly more content than UT in 1 playthrough (especially cutscenes)
- I have only made one game ever
Unlike UNDERTALE, this is the type of game that would normally have many designers working on each aspect of the game.
A story writer, a composer, an audio director, a map designer, a battle designer, a minigame designer, and an overall director. Instead, all of those roles end up handled by me.
The good news is that a few months ago, I completed a significant milestone regarding the game's design. I completed readable outlines for every chapter in the game, including first-pass dialogue for almost all the cutscenes, examples of the music, etc.
Although certain details are still hazy, the flow of the game and all major events and battles that take place are now clear.
In summary, I largely spent the past two years writing, composing, designing, and drawing. However, that's not the whole story.
We had actually attempted to develop the game since the time too. Development started around March 2019 and a 99% work was spent on investigating engines alternate to GameMaker, which I used for Chapter 1.
Without getting into the details, I decided a few months ago to go back to GameMaker after all. It still felt like the best fit for the project. So using Chapter 1 as a base, we've started creating Chapter 2 since May 2020.
A lot of progress has been made since that time. I believe we can complete this chapter, content-wise, before the end of the year (not accounting for translation, bugtesting, and porting).
I feel very confident. And the strange thing is, even though we ended up using the original engine, I don't regret the lost time, either. Not only was I still busy designing the game, but during that long period, I was able to think of many ideas that make the game's story and characters better.
I'm glad that I'm making the DELTARUNE that I have now and that we are making healthy progress.
DELTARUNE STATUS ESTIMATE
Since there's a lot to read, I'll try to put the status of the game in numbered estimates
CHAPTER 2 (04.15.20 - 08.13.20)
Phase 1: Design
Main Design 100% (dialogue, etc.)
Initial Setup: 100% (stuff involved setting up people to make the game, adding debug tools, documentation, etc.)
Phase 2: Implementation (05.01.20 ~ 08.13.20)
Cutscenes: 80% (90% are started, needs 2nd pass)
Bullet Patterns: 70% (enemies are mostly completed, bosses are about 40% done, needs 2nd pass)
Non-Bullet Battle Elements: 30% (Some ACTs are done and enemies are fightable, but interactive ACTs need to be completed and polished and the bosses aren't programmed outside of bullet patterns)
Maps: ??% most are started or placeholder, most need 2nd pass. NPC interactions are completed in all spots where written.
Phase 3: Finishing
(Honestly, a lot of stuff FEELS like 80% to me, but the truth is that what's there is quite rough now. Polish ends up taking a lot of time, so the real actual time value may be around 50% done...? We'll see what happens. It'll be a lesson for everybody.)
PROGRESS CHAPTERS 3+
Phase 1: Design
Story and General Game Progression (First-pass) 100%
Cutscene Dialogue (First-pass, lacking cutscene instructions) 95%
Map Design (textual) 70% (varies per chapter, earlier chapters totally completed)
Map Design (drawn) 0% (this takes a lot of wrist energy so I don't do it until we start programming)
Enemy Design (conceptual) 90% (all bosses are known)
Enemy Design (bullets/visual) 80% (varies per chapter, earlier chapters totally completed)
Music (Concept) 95%
Music (Completed) 50%
BG concept (First-pass) 75%
Important Character, Bosses (First-pass) 100%
Sprite Art 20%?
Other Content Creation 0%
Release Readiness 0%
(These numbers can be somewhat deceptive though. My true design style is to reach the moment where we have to make something, then suddenly think of something different at the last minute. This is always how it's been with me and my work. It feels like no matter how much I plan, everything comes down to what I think of at the last second…)
TEAM AND DISABILITY
You may have noticed from my phrasing, but yes, there is a team helping me create the game. Other than me, there are about three active team members working day-to-day, with a few other people pitching in from time to time.
Their roles of the main members are overall content implementation and organization, bullet pattern implementation (part-time), and art (Temmie). Other than designing, I still have the role of system programmer.
I'm extremely grateful to have a team helping me carry out my design especially because of my disabilities, which have also made development more difficult.
Although I have long suffered from wrist and hand pain, about five months ago my wrist was the worst it's ever been. I could not play the piano, use the mouse, and barely could use the keyboard. I navigated everything through voice to text.
Through weightlifting, exercise, and various equipment I have been able to somewhat increase the stamina of my wrist to an extent. Various solutions have included trackball mice for each hand, using voice to text whenever possible, using a foot pedal to click the mouse, etc.
Now I can use the mouse and keyboard for a certain amount each day provided I take frequent breaks. I wish I could work without stopping. Once the world situation improves I would really like to take physical therapy again and/or investigate surgery to repair my wrist.
Once we finish Chapter 2, I would like to use it as the base to create future chapters from. After gaining experience from this chapter, I think making future chapters will be easier.
Part of me wonders if we could make the game faster if we increased the size of the team and did something insane like create multiple chapters in parallel. However, another part of me understands that, adding more people doesn't guarantee that the game will be created faster if it's not done properly. I'm already just barely avoiding becoming a bottleneck on development even with a team of this size, due to my physical limitations.
To that end, I am interested in making a list of people that could potentially help me make the game. I'm not 100% sure if I'm going to ask anyone to help, but I think if I could find just 1 person that works well with me, it's worth asking.
Chapter 2 is proceeding at a good pace, so if we do take anyone on, it will probably only be for Chapter 3 onward. So please understand that anything you send in may not have an immediate result.
UPDATE 9/16:Amazingly, we already received 1000 applications of various types. We'll look these over now. Thank you everyone for the applications!
That's all! Happy five years!!