I'm getting tired of saying it but, hey, I'm not dead. A little insane, possibly malnourished, but otherwise perfectly alive. Before I bring you up-to-speed on the development of Lament, I would like to apologize for my lack of activity. It kinda hurts my chest to think about it, honestly, so I hope you can forgive me.
Anyway, it's summer break now, the second of many weeks to come, which means the only thing that can come between me and development is, well, me. I have a tendency to work only when I want to, and not necessarily when I should. The point I'm trying to make is that I, singular human being and high school sophomore that I am, can only do so much. True though it is that I'm, more-or-less, a part of Ex Unitae Vires, and this mod is being published under the company name, I am not receiving assistance from ANYONE in the development of Lament. Level design, story, coding, it's all me, which is how it is and will always be for this and, probably, all of my future custom stories. Yes, I plan on others, but that's something else entirely.
So, now that's off my chest, on to important shtuff. The whole demo-thing I was planning on releasing sort of, you know, fell through. I'll still be releasing a demo, eventually, but I was stupid to think I could it now, when none of the levels are fully coded (well, not how I want them to be, I least). That aside, let's talk about my plans for this little creation of mine. I've no promised release date for you, because shit happens and you usually don't expect it, and I always feel stupid when I say I'll do something and then, lo and behold, I don't. I'm just gonna list my concrete, definitely-gonna-happen-eventually, plans below.
Those Plans I Just Mentioned
- Full and Lite versions. Lament uses a large amount of shadow casters, light sources, particles, ornaments/debris, and decals. This excessive usage of visual effects, of course, offers the best visual quality it is within my power to provide while still being mindful of performance, but it can take it's toll on lower-end computers. As a result, Full and Lite versions will be released alongside each-other. The Full release will, as the name entails, contain the full-range of graphical-effect goodness, for some (in my opinion) hauntingly beautiful environments. The Lite release will have significantly reduced shadow casters, minimized decal/debris amounts, and reworked level design, so as to better accommodate weaker computers while still retaining the carefully crafted color schemes and basic look and feel of the environments (what you would expect out of a standard custom story).
- Deep, non-linear story. Lament has a heavy focus on it's characters, their relationships with each-other, their familial ties, and the reasons for their current circumstances. Again, it's deep. You might even have to play it through a second time to fully understand the characters' actions. Said characters have the aforementioned relationships/familial ties, as well as developed personalities and personal characteristics. (Yes this is, technically, more a feature than a plan, but it can't be implemented yet so It's just a plan. Totally gonna happen though, you can rest easy knowing that.)
- Demo and promotional videos. Like I said the demo is still coming, just not yet. It'll be, more likely than not, one level long, whichever one best represents Lament as a whole. Around the time that gets released, before and after, I'll release promotional videos. A cinematic trailer, a walkthrough of the demo, maybe even a making-of video. After the full release, I'll see about doing a full walkthrough with developer commentary.
- Not an isolated case. Certainly the most ambitious of my plans, Lament is just one custom story in a planned trilogy. The other two will be shorter, and have more of a focus on events tied, whether directly or indirectly, to Michael, as opposed to Lament being about the shitstorm he gets dragged into.
Anyway, hopefully this will satiate your collective appetites for a while. Well, this and the screenshots I'll be updating sometime soon.