Every year, thousands of hopeful indie developers begin working on their first game. Most of those games never get made. Today, Musume unfortunately became one of those games, at least for the time being.
This was a hard but necessary decision. Developing the game simply became too expensive, and I just didn't have the time or resources that a game like this requires. I bit off much more than I could chew, and I held on as long as I could. Ultimately, development has to stop, at least (I hope) temporarily. There's always a chance that development could begin again, but I don't want to make false promises.
So what will become of Musume? Simple: it will now be a light novel. I'm going to take the incredible art that Xesxus has made for the game, fuse it with the story I've developed, and put the first book out there by the first quarter of 2021. That's the current plan.
For anyone who was reading this and looking forward to the game, I'm sorry to let you down, but I need to take this time off to take care of things in my personal life and rebuild my bank account a bit. If Musume is destined to become a game, then it will still happen, one way or the other.
I'm a huge fan of the indie 2D action game ICEY. In fact, I like the game so much that I want ICEY (the game's main character) to appear in Musume.
I've tried to get in touch with both Fantablade (the game's developer) and XD Network (the game's publisher) to get permission to use ICEY, but so far I've been met with nothing but silence. So, I'm trying a different tack.
That's Suzu on the left (as you know) and ICEY on the right. I'm hoping images like these get the attention of whoever it is that owns ICEY's IP so that I can ask them if it's okay to use her.
By the way, this painting was done by @Xesxus, one of the most underrated manga artists on Twitter. Go give him a follow.
I've put together a very rough version of the first 10% of Musume's first level. There's a lot of polish to come, but this should give an idea of what I want the gameplay to feel like.
Also, I implemented gamepad controls. Jumping on those platforms and attacking the boss proved too tricky with the keyboard (at least for me, since I'm not really used to playing games with a keyboard).
Again, this is super rough. Expect more polish when you see the game again.
I wasn't able to make a full platforming level this week, like I originally planned. I was able, however, to implement Suzu's standing, running, and jumping attacks. Check this out:
Suzu is supposed to be blindingly fast. The challenge now is to design levels which encourage fast play (at least when you're playing as her) and still remain playable.
Since today is Screen Shot Saturday on Twitter, I decided to take the animations that Daniele Lasalandra (aka @TheBlindLynx) created for Musume and put them in a short demo. The result is below. You'll see the idle, run, jump, and standing attack animations on display.
The platforms, buildings and clouds are placeholders, from assets I already had. They will be different in the final game.
I hope to have some proper platforming action to show in about a week. However, it's nice to see the project coming along with this new art style.
Musume has a new composer: German video game music (VGM) artist Jana Honing, who goes by @Quthulhu on Twitter. Jana has a knack for capturing the feel of Super NES music, which is exactly what I am going for with the new look.
Below is a snippet of her music for the game's first level. Give it a listen. I think you'll like what you hear.
Creating the graphics for this game has been a struggle, to say the least. I've tried just about everything, but was never happy with the result.
My latest efforts with Live2D aren't working out like I hoped. Making a single model is expensive and time-consuming, and multiple models are required just for one complete character. Luckily, I've found a solution, one that I tried to go for in the beginning of this quest but was unable to find a good collaborator. Well, it looks like I've found a good collaborator now.
These three pixel animations were created by daniel5terre (Fiverr.com), who also goes by @TheBlindLynx on Twitter. He's a pro pixel artist based in Italy, and seems to have a real knack for translating Suzu's looks into pixel form.
This is the style I'll be using going forward. It's economical and quick, and it looks good, which is music to the ears all indie developers.
This CoVID pandemic has put the brakes on a lot of things, but I'm still plowing ahead with work on Musume, even though I haven't posted on here in a while.
Right now, I'm in the middle of building the framework for the game in Gamemaker Studio 2. The more I work on the game, the more it seems like GMS2 will be the way to go to make the game I want to make.
Also, there's more Suzu art on the way. Right now, Xesxus is working on her running model, which will give me the ability to create run, jump, dash, and backstep animations.
More to come as the work comes in.
I've been experimenting with Live2D all week, learning how to rig and animate 2D models. Below is my first attempt at animating Suzu's idle stance.
It isn't perfect, but looking at it, it actually isn't bad for a first attempt. I need to add deformers to make her hair move more naturally, and I need to add eye blinks as well, but for right now, she's moving.
I'm still trying to find my way around Live2D, the animation program I am currently using to animate Suzu's new idle model. Thus far, I've rigged her head, ponytail, arms and legs with simple bones so that they can move.
It's simple stuff, but once I add some eye blinks and more hair movement, she should look pretty lifelike.
I'll be posting animation frames soon.