So far we’re kicking the year off nice and strong, as progress on the new demo is going extremely well. This month I have the opposite problem that I usually have when putting together a devlog–there was too much done to share!
I’m also going to structure devlogs a little differently now; I will start with any exciting news, announcements, etc. before moving on to the actual progress. Wall of text first, then pretty pictures :)
New Demo 80% Done
It’s almost a bit surreal working on the revised demo. A lot really has changed, and it’s fun to see how my process has become more optimized. The process for making cutscenes is more streamlined, with a clear process from writing the draft, integrating, and testing. And by applying the “layered cake” method that Fang taught me earlier in the year, things went even faster.
Beta testing will be very soon, there are just a few more mechanical issues I want to iron out. Be sure to keep an eye on the Discord server if this is something that interests you!
Getting Ready for (Next) NextFest
As many of you are aware, we’re currently in the middle of a Steam NextFest (very exciting!). Legends of Astravia’s spiffy new demo will be in the next one, and there has been an endless amount of work to do in preparation. In the world of indie games, making the actual game is only half the work.
I’ve been very focused on the game’s marketing, trying to come up with a proper push leading up to the launch. Expect a ton of screenshots, snippets, and other exciting new visuals leading into the Demo’s release.
The current “Trailer” on Youtube is due for a serious update, and the Steam page will get a little gameplay montage as a holdover soon. Also, the game’s description, marketing text and FAQs will get some updates over the next couple of weeks as well.
Part of this marketing strategy is ensuring all of the game’s visuals are up to date across the world wide web. With the release of the new demo in June, and the big visual change to the game last year, it’s important that all of the screenshots and artwork reflect the final game as much as possible.
As such, I removed most of this artwork from every single social media channel and itch.io.
However–it is not gone forever. In fact, I think these old screenshots, gifs and other snippets give a very important peek into Legends of Astravia’s complicated development process.
So, check out the Dev Archive on the website to take a little visual stroll through the game’s development from 2017-2022, 5 long (…long… ) years!: Link
Since the demo is nearly completed, I think progress in January was pretty darn good! One of the more exciting things about the demo is just how much things have changed–for the better. The game honestly feels like, well, a video game?? (Crazy, right? I don’t know!)
The premise of the demo is largely the same as 2022, Oliver will have an encounter with the mysterious Azel and the two will traverse the Earth Leyline together. However, we have a new recontextualization with Mordin Village, very similar to the game’s demo in 2019.
Oliver and Azel have already had a prior meeting at this time, and so their encounter in the temple is a reunion of sorts (I hope the FF7 fans reading are extra excited by that word. I sure am!).
In addition to some restructuring of the “paths” you’ll traverse (need to keep veteren players on their toes!), the demo will feature two new areas that were not seen in the 2022 demo.
First, Oliver’s Dream…
And secondly, Mordin Village!
Unfortunately, the town will be asleep, so there won’t be many NPC interactions, but I feel it will still invoke some nostalgia, especially in those of you who played the demo all the way back in 2019.
The most exciting aspect of the demo is that it will feature several new characters who bring a very fresh and distinct tone to the game. I have to give Fang a lot of credit here, this was one of her writing suggestions that really made things come together.
I also had a lot of fun drawing their faces. The switch to my own art style really renewed my confidence in my abilities overall. I honestly can’t wait to draw more.
That’s all for now. I look forward to sharing more progress next month–there are some even more exciting changes coming up!