I'm really happy to know more people joined the project, hope you all have a nice week! I'm already thrilled for the future updates haha.
Where We Are and Where We're Headed
First of all, thank you all so much for your patience with us. I know it's been a while since we updated you all on the project and we really appreciate you sticking with us. We always intend to do these more frequently, then things always come up and then we drop off the planet for a while. So much that people start asking if Monstrata is abandoned! (A very valid concern!)
To assuage doubts, I want to reiterate: Monstrata Fracture is not at risk of cancellation. It is our #1 priority after necessities. We aren't always able to give it as much attention as we would like with the nature of how life is, and as you all know, 2020 has been an exceptionally strange and difficult year. But ultimately our goal is for Astralore to succeed as a game development company and for Monstrata to be one of our major titles.
However, there is an obvious problem if our projects frequently appear abandoned. We need to make structural changes to prevent these kinds of situations from happening. To that end, we're dipping our toes in the water with hiring other folks beyond just the two of us, so I'd like to take a moment now to introduce our newest team members!
Saffron / @saffthesoftking
First up is Saffron, affectionately known as Saff. Saff joined our discord about a year and a half ago and has been an awesome addition to the Astralore community since then. Those of us who visited us at PAX might remember Saff as one of our cute booth helpers, and we're happy to say that he'll be helping us out by taking over on Monstrata's script implementation.
In the past it has always been a challenge to meet our desired update schedule because I was in charge of doing implementation as well as writing, and the sheer quantity of writing that each update demands leaves very little time to dedicate to implementation. Letting Saff handle the implementation puts the expressions and other direction choices in the hands of someone who loves the story (especially Deka, big Deka fan) and will definitely do it justice, while I can spend that time moving onto the writing for the next chapter. It will help force me to stay focused on wrapping up the script and also frees up my time to keep creating content rather than implementing it. Welcome, Saff!!!
Social Media Manager
Second is Bethy! Bethy is an aspiring dev studying Unreal Engine, planning to someday make warm games that make people feel better in sad times. She has also joined me on doing QA for other projects! She'll be taking on our social media updates in order to help us stay more transparent about what's going on behind the scenes and to maintain a connection with our fans. <3
She'll be in charge of facebook, twitter, and instagram, while longform posts here and on tumblr will still mostly be written by me. c: Welcome, Bethy!!!
So what have we been doing on the game and what comes next? Tremaine's sprite is complete and will be going into the game. Elsie's update is a few hundred words from completion and is clocking in at a hefty 13,000 words! (For reference, the update prior to this was around 9,000 words, so this is nearly half again as long!) We're working on some bug fixes to address animation issues and we have some side character sprites and backgrounds to put together. While this is happening, Saff will put it all together and before we know it, it'll be in your hands!
We're also going to focus more on pre-scheduling our Patreon posts in advance so that we don't leave our patrons hanging. Here are some posts we posted this week:
- Monday the 12th: Side character sprite tiebreaker poll! (Li Na or Frances??)
- Wednesday the 14th: a sneak peek from Elsie's upcoming update!
- Friday the 16th: Next character update poll! (Nikolai, Vivietta, or Deka??)
And here are some posts that our patrons can look forward to next week!
- Monday the 19th: A sample of Tre's finished expressions, in glorious animated gif form!
- Wednesday the 21st: Another sneak peek of the script for Elsie's upcoming update!!
- Saturday the 24th: Progress post with info on how the next update is going, and a release date for this one. c:
I'll also be writing for Monstrata for Nanowrimo this year. For those who don't know the history of Monstrata, Nanowrimo is actually a huge part of why the game exists in the first place — but that's a story for another time. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to taking another crack at it and updating you all on my progress on social media. (And if you're participating, feel free to add Archaeren [me!] as a writing buddy!)
Outside of work on our own game, we've been doing work on other people's games to keep the lights on around here. Vale has been hard at work on development for the PlayStation 5 launch title JETT: The Far Shore, and I've been doing quality and certification testing for several titles, including Pixel Puzzle Makeout League! I hope you'll check them out and show some love to the devs.
Once again, thank you so much to everyone who has commented on Monstrata Fracture or messaged us or asked after us. We love all of you and we'll be doing our best!
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im super excited for future updates ;)
So happy so see Saff on the team. Yay.
Welcome Saff an Bethy thank ya very much for yer hard work, I'm way too happy to know you both joined this amazing project, don't even know how to express all this warm feelings of happiness to ya.
Hi Astralore!! The moment I saw this post, I got super excited!! Thank you so much for taking the time to update us on the future direction of Monstrata Fractura. I am so in love with this game and will continue to support you guys!!
- An avid fan