Devlog #28 - The Current Plans, Looking Back at the Kawaii Festival, and More

Hey everyone, it's time for another devlog!ヾ(○・ω・)ノ☆

It's barely been two weeks since the Kawaii Festival and we've already found our way back into the production of //TODO: today and Brassica.

In this devlog we'll give you a quick overview on our plans for the next few weeks, look back at our experience at the Kawaii Festival, talk a little bit about taxes and all the other things you have to think (and learn) about when starting an indie games studio, and finish off with some more insights into recent //TODO: today art production.

So let's get started!

As we've mentioned a few times already, our plan is to release the second half of //TODO: today this month and for the most part that plan hasn't changed. We're still trying to finish everything before the end of the month or in early September at the latest.

The writing is about 90% done and only needs some more revisions and editing. In terms of art, there are some more backgrounds, CGs, and special artworks that need to be finished. Additionally, a few more music tracks need to be produced for special moments and some old ones need some more polishing.

Our plans shifted a little bit once we realized that Brassica wasn't going to be finished as quickly as we initially planned, but now that we decided to release it episodically, it became easier to coordinate the two projects again.

Something else we wanted to mention in this devlog: with the full version of //TODO: today we are also going to release some extra content!

We talked about it here and there before but now that we've finalized our plans, we wanted to properly announce it.
The game itself will continue to be free but for $5 you will be able to purchase a digital zine with some behind the scenes looks at the artwork, more info on the characters, and some special art and writing exclusive to the zine!
For $8 total you can also get a bundle with the zine and the soundtrack (and save $2 compared to buying them separately).

We hope you'll enjoy this extra content and the second half of the game of course!

And now to the Kawaii Festival.

Kawaii Festival Berlin 2018

...You remember when we wrote about the Kawaii Festival in the last devlog? Oh boy. That was an experience alright. The preparation phase was already exciting with organizing the prints and stalking the delivery service on campus (where our office is) so we could ensure that our banners and logo sign would arrive safely. ö-ö

Arriving in at the festival location we found ourselves amidst motivated people building an awesome event together. At times eZombo would guard the booth while Pectin jumped around to talk to people and we found out that the organisators and helpers were a really cool bunch!

A tweet after we came home:
https://twitter.com/boyslaughplus/status/1024678706827149314

The Kawaii Festival offered a variety of things relating to kawaii fashion and Harajuku. There were Japanese food stalls, art and fashion booths, and relating entertainment like manga and games. Highlights were definitely the breath-taking fashion show by Melissa Lee (presenter & one of the main organisers of the event), meeting the nice and fashionable people there and, especially for Pectin, seeing Haruka Kurebayashi in person. (」°ロ°)」

We were really lucky and very glad to have been there as it is the first festival of its kind. Japanese fashion is suuuper niche in Germany even though that might change in the near future.

If you want to see more of the festival, check out their social media accounts! And if you're a fan of Japanese lolita fashion definitely check out Melissa Lee (Pectin: She's a youtuber, A FASHION DESIGNER, and DRESSMAKER HOW COOL IS THAT???!):

https://www.kawaiifestival.de/
https://www.mademoiselle-opossum.de/
https://www.instagram.com/mlleopossum/

Yay, finance stuff!

Because financing is an important part of life especially as we're self-employed now, we want to share our experience about that topic with you as well. We learned to think more about the financial side of things when we dived into matters revolving around "founding a company". We're currently filling out papers so we can properly report our revenue and pay taxes. Researching about law and doing paper work also takes a good chunk of our time from working on our projects though. If only there was an AI who'd do this for us...(*ノД`*)

Currently, we're sustaining ourselves by plundering our savings and working part-time, while making games is our full-time thing. Naturally we're rather tight on our budgets (Can we adopt a rich and generous grandma? Is that possible?) and the festival had us making financial losses. We learned that making losses is something we have to be prepared for, especially in this beginning phase of BL+.

On the other side we're immensely thankful for every support we can get from you, may it be monetary or through lovely comments or other positive actions. <3

Art - PECTIN

This week I'll show you just a little bit of character art. Teal and Phoenix got work uniforms last week! I won't go into how I drew it because I covered that in Devlog #5 in the past. This time around I'll share my thoughts on how I came to design their work uniforms.

First there's something to take away. In summary, Teal is the insecure artist and Phoenix is the ambitious kind of artist. In the early design process of these two I wanted to set them apart so they could be rivals or opposites of each other. Phoenix could also act as the literary foil to Teal.

Here's how I tried to show that in other default body sprites:


The work uniform however is different. When both of them work in the bookstore they are thematically in one group - they are colleagues. The dominant colour of the bookstore is purple because that's what I chose to be the main colour of the dear Ms Cardhover. (Many subjects associated with the colour seemed to suit her somehow. I also like how mature purple looks.)



I wanted to break the contrasting elements Teal and Phoenix had in their usual outfits when they were at work. Phoenix got an apron...b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶a̶p̶r̶o̶n̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶h̶o̶t̶ because Phoenix is the type who can carry heavy stuff. I believe they are ordered to carry loads of books as well. The apron is to protect the clothes underneath from taking damage while carrying stuff around.

Teal on the other side should still look casual. But I also wanted Teal to emanate the feeling that they have been longer at the bookstore than Phoenix. So the simple shirt looks kind of like Teal helps as an assistant to Ms Cardhover too.
Now that both are dominantly purple when they work at the bookstore Ms Cardhover can finally feel her influence on her cute little employees...

That's it for this week's devlog! Thank you for reading! And thank you for supporting us!
(Shout out to everyone who bought Brassica and read this!! <333)

PECTIN + eZombo

The core team of BL+

todo-today, devlog, brassica