Musume took a big step forward today, with the inclusion of background music. Official composer Moonraccoon composed a sixteen-second loop to go with the footage of the first level.
Will this be the final background tune for this level? No. Everything you're seeing is a rough draft. However, this is another element (and a crucial one) that has finally snapped into place.
Main character Suzu Aoyama is a magic user, and I've finally implemented her first magic use: a fireball made from chaos energy (like the power ball hovering above her hand on the first page of this site).
The fireball and the boss are placeholders, but it's still good to see these elements come together.
For now, however, join me in welcoming Suzu to the club of magic anime girls.
One of the most fun parts of working on Musume is creating and introducing new characters. With that, I'm proud to present Azura Shoryu, headmistress of Suzu's temple and a badass fighter in her own right:
Azura is a bit older than Suzu (most assume that she's twenty-four years old, although no one knows her real age) and is the one who leads the Daughters of New Tokyo into battle against the waves of monsters when they spawn.
It will be a while until Azura becomes playable, but she will play a major role from the first level of the first chapter of Musume.
Next up: android assassin Lotus-001.
Speed and flow. That's what I want Musume to feel like when you're controlling Suzu, and the platforming here is a good indication of what I want the game to feel like. The goal is for the player to be able to slice through enemies while running through the level without breaking stride.
This is a short loop - only fourteen seconds - but it's a good indicator of what the final version of level 1 will look like when it is finally done.
When I first started work on Musume, one of my targets was to put Suzu in her room and give her a hair flip animation.
The original deadline I gave myself to do that was March 31, 2019. I missed that goal by a little bit.
Still, it's done! Eighteen months after starting development work on the game, here is Suzu, blinking and flipping her hair in her room. Musume will have both combat and non-combat elements, and work on the non-combat side has finally begun.
I've finally started work on the first level of Musume, which as of right now is going to take place on a highway just outside of New Tokyo. The video below shows a car running for its life from a giant mechanical bug, and then Suzu killing said bug.
This is extremely rough, and just about everything you see is a placeholder.
Nevertheless, I'm finally starting to develop the framework for the first level. Once the first level is done, everything else should go just a bit easier.
If you're a frequent visitor to this site, you may have noticed that sniper Tsurune Matsuzaka has undergone a radical redesign. Here is what she originally looked like:
This was drawn by Fiverr.com artist panpan_pratama. It's quite good, but when I changed concept artists, this drawing had to change as well.
Enter Tsurune, version 2:
When current concept artist Xesxus re-assumed art duties for Musume (he was the original artist before I switched briefly), I had him redo Tsurune's first design. The result was all right, but I didn't like it because Xesxus was copying another artist's design instead of creating his own. That's never a good idea.
One day, Xesxus randomly showed me an image he was working on while we were discussing something else. That image immediately grabbed my attention. I asked him to take that new image and turn it into the new Tsurune. Here was the result:
This design absolutely blew my mind. We definitely have a keeper.
Getting Tsurune right wasn't easy, but it was totally worth it. The game's cast is really starting to come together now.
I've been working hard to learn Construct 3 and put together Musume's very first level by the end of the year. This weekend, I messed around with both city and desert levels. Here is my city level, designed to test out the parallax scrolling settings in Construct 3:
What I find surprising about this video is how good the background graphics are. The road, trees, city, and clouds all came from an asset pack that cost less than twenty bucks, and the scorpion wasn't very expensive, either. These are all placeholders, but they show just how good Musume has the potential to look when it's done.
Freelance artist (and unnoficial Musume concept artist) Xesxus has been hard at work on finishing an alternate design for Suzu and a new design for archer/sniper Tsurune.
I'm absolutely blown away with both designs. I love Suzu with those clothes and that cape so much that I've incorporated it into both the game's design and the upcoming Musume light novel. Tsurune is still early in the process but she looks amazing.
No matter what else happens, Musume will have some of the best character design of any game anywhere.
After doing some work with the Construct 3 game engine, I was finally able to implement all of Suzu's physical attacks:
This is still very rough, but Suzu is now fully operational. She just needs a bit of tweaking and polishing before she looks good swinging that blade through the air.
Once I improve her movement, I'll put her on the streets of New Tokyo - the game's first level - where she will fight monsters for the first time.
Exciting times ahead!
Edit: my apologies for the Bandicam control box that appears in the video. That is my screen recording software. I'll definitely be more careful next time.