Update 5/29: Dawn of the Big Release

Good morning!! The big day is almost here. The team is coming together and putting together all of the last finishing touches to polish up for release day.

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Since the work in the past week mainly consisted of a million small bugfixes and quality of life changes, I’ll give a big-picture story instead.

RAIN project started three years ago as just a stupid idea in my head. Could we build a platformer game, but in the Touhou style? A game that contains the elements that make Touhou what it is, like overwhelming boss fights and danmaku. For the first year all that came of this were sketches and ideas.

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Well, somewhere along the line we decided to make this a reality. And gradually the designs came together. A platformer boss-bash that could capture the thrill and amazement of facing off against Touhou bosses. It’s a hard thing to design, really. Danmaku patterns with millions of bullets doesn’t transfer very well into the platformer setup. So instead, we built spellcards that highlighted the speed and reactions of the player, while still presenting that sense of scale — like giant lasers and fireballs.

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Building a game was a lot more work than I’d ever anticipated. There’s a lot of moving parts that need to come together — art, programming, sounds, music, design, even marketing. And convincing everyone on the team to put in their time is a whole challenge of its own. But the RAIN project team consists of some amazing people, and through some kind of miracle we’ve managed to approach the end. To you fans and readers, a huge thanks for the support and motivation.

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It’s been a long journey since the start of RAIN project. And now I can proudly say, the game will release in one week!

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Update 5/20: Maid duty

Sain baina uu! This week on “RAIN project team tries to clean up our mistakes”, the RAIN project team uncovers even more mistakes.

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The good news is that the game is in a stable enough state that we can do a full play-through without any debug tools on. The harsh truth is that in the play-through, the buglist only grows.

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Anyway, we’re chugging away at this list, and we’re actually making pretty fast progress. A bunch of these are just quality of life changes so the player doesn’t get lost or stuck. We’ve also finally hooked up all the levels in a natural manner (for example, there’s now a large rockslide at the Hot Springs, and you can’t pass through until Nitori is defeated).

Also, we’re doing a quality control pass of every single art asset in the game, which is going to take some time but will hopefully be worth it. The main assets are all working, they just need some long overdue cleaning.

Two weeks until release!!

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Update 6/10: The last stretch

Joh-eun achim!! This week was the last of content creation. From now on we are a bug fixing team.

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The final bit of gameplay we’re adding in are two minibosses: Iku and Tewi. They’ll be optional to fight, but there in case players are looking for a challenge!

Our strategy is simple: play the game a ton and find all the issues. Also we’re going around and touching up all the spritework and animations. The base skeleton and meat of the game is done — now it’s time to garnish and make it all flow.

Things that still need to be done:

  • Completion system for quests (% complete)
  • Connect all the levels so traveling is faster
  • Balance the bosses
  • Rework sounds
  • (and of course fix 20 million bugs)

Now its time to get to work!!

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Update 4/29: The bosses that smack you in the face

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Gooan daginn! This week introduces two bosses with a mean personality: Kanako and Tenshi. These guys will get in up and personal and smash your face in. Ouch.

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Tenshi’s boss fight revolves around revolutions. She has a bunch of attack animations (the most in the game!) coupled with a stage that moves and shifts. Dodge her skills and attack her while she’s vulnerable!

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Kanako’s fight is the final climax. We’re not gonna spoil anything, but there’s three main stages, involving a section fighting alongside a beautiful sunrise. Kanako’s a god of the heavens, but she’s not afraid to get down and dirty with her fighting style. Who follows the spellcard rules anyways?

On a higher level, this week and the next mark the last weeks of content creation. We’re finishing up our final bosses and quests, including an extra stage (return of Suwako?!). Afterwards, the whole team is joining up on cleanup duty as we polish all the nooks and crannies and smack down bugs.

As always, thanks for the support! Omake:

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Update 4/19: The Origins of Sanae Kochiya

Buenos dias! We’re late this week on the blog post, oops. But the team continues to steadily move forward.

A big point: we finally created the introductory scene, showcasing Sanae’s story in the world of reality. For us players, we see only a short walk through Moriya Shrine, but for Sanae, it’s her childhood growing up with two gods. Also bonus: short-haired child Sanae!! A super cute addition.

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 10.25.44 PMThis introduction seed should (hopefully) plant the storyline for the rest of RAIN Project, leading Sanae to explore an unknown Gensokyo. Nearing the end of her adventure, Sanae’s past will return in stunning fashion. Without spoiling too much, let’s say that Sanae will experience a coming-of-age story of her own — overcoming her past to move forwards into a brighter future.

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On the topic of the other levels, backgrounds for a bunch of the stages have been drawn and are ready to put in the game. We need to do a bunch of tweaking to make the parallax look nice, but the assets should basically be wrapped up.

The goal for this week: finish the Pillars (Tenshi) level!! And also the boss fight. This has been in progress for like a month now — and this will be the final week. Tenshi has the most hand-drawn animation frames out of any boss, so it’s sure to be a good fight.

Mobs for the Pillars level, and quests for the Cave level are completed as well. It finally feels like we’re reaching the end. Just 6 more weeks to go!

Update 4/3: Cleanup and the Rise of Suwa

Guten morgen! This week comes with an exciting development. We’re aiming to have a playable Beta build of the game by the weekend! If you’re interested in trying it out, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll set something up.

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The big picture for this week was “cleanup”. Since we’re trying to get this playable build out, we had to go back and fix a ton of random bugs and features that never got finished. The game was like a buffet of all your favorite food, except no one had any forks or plates.

Anyway, the list of bugfixes and improvements includes:

  • Fix one-way platform collisions
  • Loading screens for levels
  • Correct level boundaries
  • Rework dialogue to support localization + new Suwako cutscenes!
  • Fix particle system lag
  • Finalize Aki spellcards

We’re going to continue on this cleanup duty until the build is in a playable state. In the meantime, progress is steadily moving on the next levels.

The Aya fight is basically done. I’m still thinking about how to make her final spellcard stand out — all the bosses so far have had some cool effect like Nitori’s reality marble (you’ll see!) and Hina’s festival. I just need to find one for Aya that also doesn’t make the fight impossible.

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The boss fight for Tenshi has been planned out, and the spritework should be done by the end of the week. Let’s look forward to that, the Tenshi fight will be a fun one. Assets for the mobs in Tenshi’s pillar level are a bit behind schedule but they’re getting done.

Finally, the soundtrack for the game is nearing completion! Check out a sample:

Update 3/27: The other wind god

Selamat Pagi!! Good work is getting done. If we can keep up with this pace then RAIN project will release on time!

On the side of boss fights, Tenshi is progressing smoothly. We’re steadily working on the animations while we design the spell cards. New this week is Aya Shameimaru! Once Sanae gets past the caves of Youkai Mountain, the fastest Tengu will stand in your way.

Aya’s fight is going to be a special one. Instead of fighting on solid ground like the previous bosses, the duel takes place among a crumbling mountain. Sanae has to dash and wallclimb among the falling rocks while outmaneuvering Aya’s spellcards.

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Cave level design is just about finished. The Youkai Mountain caves are very mazelike, and there’s many ways to progress through the level. Depending on which direction you take, there could be Tengu to fight or stalactites to navigate around.

Finally a bunch of the sounds for Nitori’s have been wrapped up. Background music and boss fight music is progressing very nicely — the music actually makes the game feel so much more complete.

Next week — final touches on Aya, and the first appearance of Moriya Shrine.