January 2018 Progress Report

Hi there! It’s Pip here, with the January progress report for Hiwata no Nadoko. Surprise! We’re not dead!

 

Since the anniversary event, development has slowed considerably, but this is mostly because many of the team are students, and had to focus on their education. I, myself, had to take a three-month hiatus, to devote time to my internship that I’m a part of, so it was a lot of fun to see what was accomplished while I was away. We’re still chugging along, working on the final components necessary for the demo, which we hope to have out to you guys soon.

During the anniversary event back in September, we revealed a custom female model that Sweet Potatoes made for us. Since then, Sweet’s also finished the male model, dressed Yamamura’s girls in fresh new uniforms, and given the first target a really awesome new hairstyle.

We finally have our unique school environment modeled as well. Yamamura High School is a three-story, hexagonal-shaped building, with a variety of class rooms and club rooms. The team has hidden a couple easter eggs around campus, and we hope you guys have fun finding them once the demo is released.

Moving forward, our modeling team will be working on modeling the protaganist’s home, and making uniforms for the boys of Yamamura. They’ll also be creating unique hairstyles for each of our students to fit on SweetPotatoes’ new models.

We’re also working on getting the character models rigged for animation, but we do need to find someone to help us with that. Once that’s done, the animation team will start animating these models with the characters’ walk animations, idle animations, as well as other actions and reactions.

During the anniversary event, we also showed off some designs for more of Yamamura’s student body. Rather than having a bunch of randomly generated students, our art team has designed more than 100 unique students to fill out the three class years of Yamamura. This includes our protagonist, the six targets, as well as a number of secondary characters who help move the story forward. The art team has also finalized the designs of Yamamura’s teachers. They’ve also been busy creating new wallpapers, and storyboarding the game’s many cutscenes. In case you missed it during the anniversary event, here’s a taste of the game’s introductory cutscene...

This is just where the story kicks off. Our talented voice actors already have many demo lines like this ready to go, for both our protagonist and for the first target. They’ve also recorded the necessary background chatter of other students. The teachers are fully cast as well, and we’re working on finding the right people to give life and voice to our secondary characters.

You’re probably wondering why I keep saying “the protagonist,” and “the first target,” instead of the character names you already know. Now that the writers have finalized the storyline we’re releasing in the demo, we’re doing away with the placeholder concept names that we’ve been using so far. Many of our characters had placeholder names that were the word of inspiration for the character. In Japanese, “Ijimi Garu” means something similar to “bullied girl,” and “Seiteki,” means something along the lines of “sexual.” Can you imagine if that was how your parents named you?

We’ve worked out who these characters are beyond those kick-off points, and we’re excited to announce the official names of each of these characters! You will play as Reika Hinode, who used to be the most popular girl at Yamamura High School, before her reputation was destroyed by a group of bullies. Reika spirals into a depression, resulting in her psychotic break and plot of vengeance. Your first target is Aiko Shibata, an upperclassman who started a rumor that torpedoed your reputation and caused your boyfriend, Daichi, to dump you.

We have so much story around these things to share with you, and that would be impossible without all of Johny’s hard work. Some hardware issues are slowing down his coding progress, but it certainly hasn’t stopped it! After building the school, he’s implemented collision with models in the building, and made it so students can navigate the campus. He’s given the students better vision, and has been working on implementing scream reactions. He’s implemented our phone menu system, and made so many performance improvements. He’s a really talented kid, and I’m personally really proud of him.

Like Geordan mentioned in her personal update a few weeks back, we haven’t made as much progress as we would have liked, due to people leaving the team for assorted reasons. That being said, we’re looking for new volunteers to join the team! If you have any programming experience, Johny would love to have someone to help work the code! We also need animators, and, like I mentioned,  people who know how to rig character models. You can find more information for what each development team requires, on the volunteer page of our website!

Whether you’re interested in volunteering, or are just eagerly anticipating our project, none of this would be possible without your support! So, thank you for watching, thanks again for all your support of  Hiwata no Nadoko, and thanks for not questioning why my cat jumped into the frame. His name is Arthur, and he’s important to me. We love you. Thanks again for all your support, and we’ll see you around in the community server!

Paige Guttormson