Hello there, my lovely folks.
Today I'm here to provide you with a quick overview of my plans for finishing Helena. I had hoped to have it completed in time for my birthday, but that's less than two weeks away, and my baby girl is still far from ready.
My plan now consists of five stages:
1) Bareboning the remaining maps - this is just making, essentially, skeletons for each map, this way progress can be made without worrying about making it all pretty. It just needs to be somewhat functional for planning. Kind of like a 3D blueprint.
This stage is slotted to be completed by the end of this month, February. I may be a little behind on this deadline as I've taken on a lot of voice over projects the past couple months, but it shouldn't go over by much. At this point, there are only 3 maps that really need more work before being completed with their barebones and another 3 that will most likely be last minute work due to the particular nature of those maps.
2) Detailing maps - exactly what it sounds like. My buddy Tesseract (who helped with the beautiful detailing for the initial demo), will be assisting me in making everything pretty and looking as if they are play-ready.
This stage is slotted to be completed by the end of March. As I've not reached this stage yet, I can't tell you if we'll go over the deadline or not (as there are a grand total of 15 maps in Helena, 3 which are pretty much complete from the demo and then those other 3 I mentioned earlier).
3) Scripting/Programming - again, exactly as it says. At this point, the scripting work will begin. I already have a few people in my pocket for the bigger scripts.
This stage is slotted to be completed by the end of April. In regard to this specific stage, there is a good chance that this will go past the deadline due to the fact that it's scripting. It never goes as smoothly as you plan and there are a good deal of maps. I'm trying to take care of most of the little things as I go along, but it's still a lot to work on, even with help, and there are a few biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig things I have planned. However, if we do go over deadline with this portion, it (fingers crossed) shouldn't have too much of an impact on the next step.
4) Implementing music/voices and rewrites - the last touches on the game will be putting in the rest of the voice work and music (which I hope to do some original compositions) and rewriting some of the material. I've already begun work on writing but waiting on everything else, although soon I will be looking into the music (once the barebone maps are completed).
One reason I am waiting on the voice over is because of those rewrites. Most of the voice over already present in Helena was recorded two to three years ago, and with the rewrites adding potential new recordings from actors, it may cause discrepancies in the overall quality if some dialogue from the same characters sound vastly different scene to scene, and as I don't want to constantly pester people, I'm waiting to bulk up all lines together to send out at the same time.
This stage is slotted to be completed by the end of May. Depending on the amount of work needed from voice actors and the music, I highly suspect this will be completed on time, but we'll see when we get there, won't we. ;)
5) Beta-testing, bug fixing, and release - Pretty simple. At this point, everything should basically be done. I will select a few volunteers to beta-test and help me find any issues that may arise. Notices for beta-testing will be sent out once we've hit this stage if you're looking to volunteer. But just note, I'm more likely to pick people I am familiar with, especially from the FG Forum.
This stage is slotted to be completed by mid-June to the beginning of July (depending on how over deadlines we get).
AND THAT MEANS....
The tentative release date for Helena is going to be sometime toward the end of June or the beginning of July!
I can't tell you guys how excited I am for this. Seriously, I started Helena back in December of 2012. That's 4 years and 2 months as of this post! What a crazy time it's been.
For now, on this page I will have the release date set in July, just to be on the safe side. It will of course be updated as we get closer to that time.
As for other updates, don't except too much when it comes to any screenshots. I've become a little more like Hitchcock in my later years: I'd hate to spoil anything for you guys. I want you all to be genuinely surprised and on your toes when you play the finished product.
I will more than happily share with you any trailers I make, music that will be used, etc.
LAST MINUTE NOTICES:
- I will be on the lookout for ARTISTS and possibly COMPOSERS. Mostly looking for artists, not so much composers as I'm not entirely certain how I'm going to be handling the music just yet.
- I will NOT be looking for voice actors or programmers at this time, but notice will be given if the situation changes.
If anyone has any questions or anything they wish to share with me, please feel free to comment and such! Thank you so much for your patience!
~Olivia "AGP" Steele