November 2018 Progress Report
Hello and welcome to the November 2018 progress report for Hiwata no Nadoko!
The past month was dedicated to unifying the development of our project. In the past, the development of Hiwata no Nadoko was a bit all over the place. Volunteers were not getting the proper tasks assigned to them, there were many issues with timely communication, and most importantly, there was a severe lack of a unified design concept. There was also some confusion within the community in regards to what the project had been in the past versus what we were hoping to do with the game now. We did have earlier concepts and designs written down in various places, on various accounts, and behind various passwords, but the information was scattered and hard to find. When we could find it, some senior members of the team had difficulty understanding these old fragments of the project. To remedy all of these issues, we spent the majority of November creating the official game design document for Hiwata no Nadoko, for members of the team and members of the community alike!
A game design document (referred to as “GDD” from here on) is the “holy tome” to which a development team subscribes. It is where any information about the development of a project can be found, from visual elements to controls to important themes.
So far, we have defined, changed, and refined many of the game's elements. We also added some crucial gameplay concepts that we hope will greatly improve how the game feels, looks, and most importantly, how it plays! We are making a game, after all. So we want to make sure the player (that’s you!) can enjoy our game while experiencing the story we’ve worked so hard to craft.
Many of the details of this GDD are still in the works, and any game design elements present may change as the development progresses. We're still generating ideas, and those ideas need to have a 'green light' from our lovely technical departments each time we change or add a design element. We want to insure that we are making a good game, and can actually make that game happen!
For a taste of what we want the full game to be like, you can find the one-page abstract of the GDD here. This file will also be available for download the team page of the side and on our community server, which as always, you can join using this invite link: https://discord.gg/epBsxPN
Since the GDD has everything in it, including essential spoilers, we are unable to share the full document with you. In its entirety, it is currently 19 pages long and still growing as we make additions to it.
Outside of the GDD, the first draft of Aiko’s script is also complete. It’ll be moving into its editing stage next.
With the winter holiday season fast approaching, which comes with end-of-term finals for many of our volunteers, our team has opted to take two months of “hiatus”. Don’t worry, though! Development will still progress during the months of December and January, but we deeply encouraged our team members to spend time with their loved ones and to take some time off during the holiday season. As such, there will be no progress reports for the months of December and January. When we come back in February, we’ll share the progress we made and kick development back into full swing.
As always, thank you for supporting the development of Hiwata no Nadoko. This project is very important to all of us, and when development gets tough, it’s all of your continued and dedicated support that encourages us to keep going.
Sincerely, Geordan McDougal and the rest of the team.