Devlog #2: Digging Foundations
What a wild, wonderful September it's been!
Lots happened this past month, so let's get right to it.
The excitement and feedback we've been getting from you all has been incredible but most of all, it's affirming. It tells us that there is something to what we're doing and how we're conveying it, and that we should keep on doing it!
If you're here on our site, chances are you found us through either of those platforms, but here's a recap of what we've been doing:
Here's a few of our posts so far! Each one is linked, if you want to see them in further detail.
I spent a lot of September flying out to job interviews in various far-flung states! Trying to get paid for your work is a full-time job all its own, guys. But thankfully, things have mostly settled down on that front now, leaving me to deal with… everything else! I’ll do my best!
I’m so excited for it to finally be fall — though where I live it’s still 90 degrees F right now! I spent a couple choice weekends making lamb bone broth and then turning that into stew and then baking ginger-molasses cookies and I’m gonna start making my annual 87 pounds of pumpkin bread soon, and then pumpkin-swirl cheesecake, and chai brownies, and… Whew! Fall is my favorite time of year to cook and bake! I’m planning on expanding my repertoire by trying out a few Victorian recipes as soon as I find a reliable guide on How Hot To Make Your Modern Oven To Equate To How Hot Mrs. Crocombe Would Have Said To Make Your Stove.
This past month, I fell in love with apple cider slushies, flexed some new painting muscles, visited museums, and scrounged through a flea market in search of cool old stuff!
On the less fun side, I've been taking a course on digital project management and I've already been applying a few of the lessons I've learned to this project in terms of long term sustainable practices. I love learning things that will benefit me professionally and recreationally, and project management, though tedious, is no exception.
To that end, I haven't actually been reading up all that much on the Victorians—guess my brain needed a break from being crammed with that sort of information—but my Twitter timeline and random google searches keep me plenty informed on both past and current events.
This month's research has been less on the setting of this project and more on the tools and logistics of managing this kind of creative process and visual novels in general.
One book Ingrid has acquired and been leafing through with awe is Doré's London from Chartwell Books. Within it are assorted writings from Victorian authors (Dickens, Wilde, and Trollope among them) alongside beautiful engravings of London and its people from Gustave Doré, a renown French artist of the time. He teamed up with journalist Blanchard Jerrold in 1869 to depict the highs and lows of London life, and in 1872 they published London: a pilgrimage, a collection of these illustrations and some writings. This was met with some criticism due to the polarizing themes and fictional embellishment, but the images themselves are still stunning depictions of Mid-Victorian London.
You can look at some of these engravings in detail on the British Library's website here.
We completed the bulk of the story outline this month! It's so satisfying to finally know where all this is headed—not that we didn't know before, but our original outline from 2016 saw a major overhaul. We pivoted the story from purely romantic drama (with an admittedly unhealthy dose of cliché) to focusing on character depth and growth as the driving forces of the narrative.
Sprite sketches are in progress for quite a few characters, most of whom will feature in the demo we are currently planning. That includes not just Hugo and Seamus but also, gasp, relevant side and background characters! We'll leave introductions for another log, but here's a sneak peek:
Even at this stage after our character designs have been pretty much finalized, the bits and pieces of knowledge Ingrid has collected have resulted in some changes in the designs of the characters. We'll be doing a more in-depth research log about those changes in the near future!
We're super excited to get cracking on fleshing out our story and bringing these characters to life!
That's it for this month's devlog! Next month, we'll be covering our progress over the course of October.
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