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Dev Update | Feb/March 2016

Most Important Update Points

We submitted to the MomoCon Indie Showcase which is judged by members of the gaming press. This is important to us because we’ve always had an issue breaking past what we call the “indie press wall.” Which is okay because writers and editors get swarmed with hundreds or thousands of indie games a day but we’re confident our build is finally coming around.

We had our first playtest in probably the history of the project where the entire dev team wanted to cancel the rest of our weekly meeting to keep playing. As devs, we’ve always said, since we’re our own harshest critics, “until we have fun playing, no one else will like it.” It’s nice to finally get a taste of that.

Gameplay/Programming Update

We are pretty much wrapped up with the Naginatashi for now, and his special move is feeling awesome. We streamed an hour of gameplay with the dev team last night, the VOD is available here: http://www.twitch.tv/hanakogame/v/52017734 That will give you the most up-to-date look at where our game is headed.

We’ve been focusing, all hands on deck, towards developing the Ninja as rapidly as we can, finally getting in two of his abilities this week: Smoke bomb and Venomous Needles. Eventually, Smoke Bomb will be replaced by grappling (both players and environmental) but will make its comeback later in our dev cycle when we implement skill trees that give more build options than just 3 abilities.

This has been a significant challenge because the Kusarigama is such a difficult weapon technically to get working correctly, especially being separate from the character and getting animations to sync. But for a first pass we’re really happy with how things are progressing.

Art Update

We’ve slowed a bit on environment art work since I handle all of that and tech art, most of my development time has been invested in getting the Ninja hooked up properly and prototyping some of his early gameplay and abilities. We’ll be resuming more environment art work shortly on our Hanako Village map that we showed a concept for last month.

Our animators have been hard at work getting the Ninja’s animation set roughed out and doing some light polish on the Naginatashi. We like to get a rough version of every animation a character has first, so we can play everything and see it all represented, then go back and make it look super sexy. So far, we’ve gotten some great roughs and combat is feeling much for fluid than it was around this time last year when we were doing a Kickstarter campaign.

More to come later this month. Let us know what you think in the Comments section below.

As always you can find us on the following networks:

Facebook: fb.com/hanakosoulofthesamurai

Twitter: @HanakoGame

Twitch: twitch.tv/hanakogame

Instagram: @HanakoTheGame

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