I've also been working on a trailer for the demo, getting together voice actors for it, as well as enough recordings of gameplay.
As for progress on the game, both me and my composer are ahead of schedule. The game is currently up to Act 1, though there's some stuff left to fix up and finish for Act 0, most of which I am waiting on my artists for, but not all- there is certainly some blank spots in my knowledge of how to execute certain cutscenes, and adding the flavor text has become a heavy amount of work in regards to the sister's house due to the several states and days it has to account for, in which some flavor text makes no sense after a point, so on most objects you can interact with at your leisure, there are multiple pages, and its actually rare for these conversations over an object to be brief.
There's also some additions I want to make to gameplay in act 0 (prologue) so it isn't just a glorified walk around for most of it, sections like the Night Shift of Justice with Lumi's jumping lunacy will likely help with this, and I'm definitely doing to have each characters gimmick become something to aid them in future obstacles, for example, Lumi can jump over chasms, Koko can grapple up to otherwise unreachable areas, and Lilac can hover over dangerous terrain. Due to how the player can switch their character at anytime after act 0, it's likely that functionality will play a huge role from act 1 going forward.
Act Zero's storytelling has been easily one of the most challenging Story Arcs I've had to create, like I've devoted so much time into thinking exactly what details can be omitted to keep dialogue from becoming long-winded, while being enough to make the characters charming and gel together well that it's frankly embarassing.
During this first prologue I have to establish the relationship between three sisters and their father, while also keeping the player intrigued with unnerving plot elements and gradually building up the ominous nature of the situation. Until the finale that you see in that video there. comparative to say-- the first day, here.
The progression in Act 0 is very linear in a sense, even if it does an okay job of hiding it. You're sort of lead around by the nose, which is a shame given how much depth the Island of Vahnus has to it, but it's a fine line to walk between that and the chaotic nature of making an open world, and I'd like to avoid the latter, seeing as Acts 1-3 are all much more open feeling, in that you can go back to Planets you've visited and talk to the citizens that are still there, and perhaps I can open Vahnus up a little more in the future, but for the demo, I need to focus on the core of the game, which is its story arc and characters.
The HUD will be a lot more streamlined than in PFC, and each key will have a pretty memorable function assignment. A is for Attack / Assail (Throw Bunnies, Bats or Books), S is for Skedaddle (It's being changed from special for the sake of this not only being more humorous, but more inline with what the 'S' key actually does.)
D is still for Drive, though you'll only get to use one in the demo, as they are unlocked via the coming of age of the sisters, the first one will be Lumi, who gets hers shortly into act 1.
F is for Friend, this is basically the hotkey to change your active party member. Friend will also automatically activate when one of the girls gets KO'd (hits 1 HP)
Outside of Drive, all of these mechanics are implemented, I'm going to save doing the Drive Mechanic until I need to, since spellcards of any magnitude can take a while to event, given the complexity. I'm also not sure WHAT a Drive is going to do yet, I want it to be distinctively different per character. Originally I was just thinking they'd shit projectiles everywhere, but I'm thinking it'd be better to have them be support abilities.
I'm thinking Lumi's will be more a righteous sacrifice, in that she gets Ko'd, but brings Koko and Lilac back with full Health and Energy, that tends to be a recurring thing with Main characters of Lumi's caliber within the Biztopian Cosmos, see Rolly's "Resolve to Rest" and Fatty's "One for All" abilities. While I was thinking that, there's two large issues with the idea.
Lumi is typically who you'll begin a fight with, as she's the easiest character to play, due to her straightforward play-style. It also lacks a visual and skill impact, and will also make some encounters brokenly easy, and break personal encounters or disallow using such a skill in them entirely. So a better idea I thought of is for her to spawn a bunch of healing orbs which only the player characters can interact with, so they'd just meander around the arena until eaten or the fight is over. This adds an element of skill because you have to choose when to eat them so as to capitalize on their power, but also you have to go and eat them while avoiding the projectiles and other things the enemy throws in your way to do so.
Koko I'm thinking on, Lumi and Lilac are easy because one is passive, the other is aggressive, Koko though is like a weird in-between. I'm definitely thinking she'll give basically an effect where you'll never have to worry about Energy so long as it's active, but just a magic bag effect alone won't do. One idea would be to make Skedaddle more powerful, as using the Skedaddle tech also takes a fair chunk of energy so upping them and their usage is not a bad idea. But the easier, and probably more sound idea is to half incoming damage, it may look less awesome, but functionally it would be more useful, also the skedaddles are already very good.
HOWEVER, there is one other pretty golden idea, and it would tie into Koko's studious nature, and that would be to actually lower the iframes of the boss, either for a duration or forever. Most bosses can only by hit once every 30 frames, half a second- but reducing that to 15 or 8 frames would be a great idea firstly because it's something that ties well into Koko's studious character and her role as the Apocalypse Prophet, but it's also a HUGE benefit to a fight, but without being utterly broken, it still means hitting the boss and using skill to do so, rather than being a boring passive.
As for Lilac, since she's the polar opposite of Lumi, her attack would be something aggressive or even draining, and chances are that her attack will make all your attacks leech life, or heal you for some, if not all of the damage done, for a duration, this would of course, apply to any character you use during the time, so you could get another characters health up quickly by using Lilac's Drive and then switching to your lowered party member and getting some hits in. It would alike Lumi's, require some skill to make nominal use of.
I'm slinging around name ideas for these abilities.
Lumi: Eve of the Luminescent Spring Flower (Could actually have yummy flowers be the healing powerups.)
Koko: Dawn of the Apocalypse Prophet
Lilac: Dusk of the Sanguine Ferocious Cataclysm
The characters each have a very strong dynamic, and I can tie each to an element of a several list.
Lumi is about the present and the tranquility of night, never worrying about what awaits, nor fretting of what was left behind, she alike Rolly, lives in the present, and is also the glue that keeps her others together.
Koko is the Dawn, she's got the day ahead to worry about, and if it's in need of saving, she's all for it. She symbolizes the sun while Lumi symbolizes the moon, she is the day in contrast to night. And she begins the day at dawn, and does her best to preserve it until it can no longer be preserved. She lives to fret about the future, and every decision she makes, she makes thinking 'how will this effect what is to come?'
Lilac on the other hand, is when the day is gone, and the dark has started to settle in, caring little for the sun or the moon, she relishes the in-between or lack thereof, a sun covered by clouds, the moon blanketed by dust- those are here ideal comparisons. Unlike Koko who tries to save the future, she on the other hand is just fine with it going however it is going to go, Lilac tends to prefer whats in the past, and never lets what is coming of the future bother her, as it will just mean the past gets either overshadowed, or she gets to develop a nostalgic sense for what was. While Koko frets of Apocalypse and doesn't trust destiny, Lilac embraces oblivion and knows Destiny for her doesn't end until she deems it fit.
To add in some more elements
Lumi represents simplicity, positivism and dealing with what is in the now.
Koko represents forethought, knowledge and preventative planning.
Lilac represents longevity, memory and laughing in the face of what happens next.
Lumi is easy to scare, she dwells in the present and is unnerved by present threats to her comfort or living.
Koko is irrationally scared, she doesn't fear what she should, and is always thinking of the grander picture.
Lilac fears very little, the only thing she fears is losing her two sisters, the rest of the universe is at most an amusing game to her, even her own life or existence she regards with very little esteem.
Anyway! Enough about them, you'll get more on them later if things go as I hope, to wrap this update post erm... up! Here's a really awesome composition by Max M. Dominora, the lead composer for Fantasia.