Devlog #11 - Another Status Update
it's been a few weeks since our last status update so we're back with a summary of where things are standing.
As you probably noticed, we weren't able to finish //TODO: today in September.
Because it's already much later than we originally anticipated and there are people who have been waiting for literally half a year already, I'll go into more detail as to why there is another delay and what exactly went wrong.
As absurd as it sounds, the biggest fault of our management so far turned out to be our focus on deadlines.
We focused more on when the game was supposed to be finished instead of how much time we really need to finish it.
There are valid reasons for that but I'll come back to those a bit later.
In a way this mentality started in March during NaNoRenO. At that time it made sense because it's a game jam and the whole point is to make a game in a set time-frame. Our original goal was to finish the full game in this one month. Of course we underestimated the workload and towards the end we realized that releasing the first half was all we could manage. And even that wasn't quite complete until September.
The next problem was that there was a "break" from April until August where we could barely work on //TODO: today because we had to focus on University related projects.
There was a whole other issue of trying to get back to //TODO: today without taking much of a break but we already touched on that a bit in one of our earlier status updates.
(Thematically there's not much of a connection but look at this pretty graph from our management tool! )
PECTIN: lol. and there was Teach Me Onegai!~ Because we thought, like, damn, we need some sweet revitalising yaoi rn! So we planned to spend our weekend from the 29th to the 30th July but crunched through the 31st and then realized we needed a week instead of a weekend. (ﾉﾟ▽ﾟ)ﾉ We kind of, just died then. But when the sun rose on the 6th of August and we wrapped up the game after working through the night, we felt incredibly grateful for life's simple pleasures. Like, properly eating and sleeping. Felix directly took a train to his family in a daze and I crawled to ma bae's apartment in dire need of a pat on the head and sleep. ...Good times....(*「･ω･)ﾝ PECTIN over and out!
The last few weeks of September were tough. We bounced back and forth between overworking ourselves and losing motivation because of the stress. That was because the deadline that we set ourselves was October 1st.
That obviously didn't work but in a way failing to meet the deadline made things easier for us.
The reason why we wanted to finish //TODO: today before October was because it marked the start of a new semester. Our final semester at university to be specific. We wanted to be able to completely focus on that but here we are now...
In the end it's not as much of a problem as we feared. Pectin and I are actually working on our thesis project together which makes scheduling a lot easier. The project we'll be working on is also going to be the second big Boys Laugh + game and while we already started planning it a few months back, most of October will still be spent with pre-production.
Managing two projects at once will be a challenge but we scheduled things in a way that doesn't significantly increase our workload.
We split the week into three days on which we'll be working on this new Project and three days that we'll use to work on //TODO: today. We made a new plan, this time not by choosing a date where everything needs to be finished, but by calculating how much time each of our tasks will most likely need.
Development will be slowed down if we only have half a week to work on //TODO: today but this is the only way for us to continue working without postponing it until February when we are done with university.
Ultimately we think this solution will lead to the best quality even if it will take a bit longer.
We don't want to lose the fun of working on this game because when it comes down to it, we started the project without any goals other than "We want to make a visual novel".
Given what still needs to be done, it wouldn't have been humanly possible to finish the game in September. And even if it had been, the quality wouldn't be anywhere near what we'd be happy with.
We are sorry that we have to push the release of the second half back even further, but we hope you understand.
Of course we'll keep posting these devlogs as we keep working on //TODO: today. And once production starts on the new project we'll also post about that, because we're pretty excited about this concept we're developing.
It's unfortunate that //TODO: today's development was plagued by delays and interruptions up until now and despite our reasons most of this mis-scheduling was our fault but we hope the end product will make up for it.
We're really thankful that there are people who are invested in our game and we'll keep you up to date as we work towards finishing it!
Now to finish things off, here is how far along we currently are:
In terms of writing, we're about 86% done. There are four and a half in-game days that still need to be written, which translates to roughly 10 scenes. This excludes editing, so even when that number reaches 100% there is still some work to do.
As for art, it mostly comes down to new backgrounds, ending CGs, banners, and some additional artworks. In numbers, there's about 70% done at the time.
The soundtrack still needs some work and then there are also things like marketing or testing that we can't completely forget about either.
Due to our new schedule we have an estimate on when we might be done with all of this but even if it is more realistic than our previous ones, we won't say anything too specific until we are certain. It will definitely be this year, but the way things are progressing right now we will probably spend at least all of October working on it.
As always, thank you for reading these devlogs and being interested in our game!
Writer/Narrative Designer/Programmer at Boys Laugh +