Apologies for the delay! The last developer update was back in December, so we have a bumper update this time around including some bonus materials, but also some not so great news regarding Yatagarasu AoC’s release timing. Here is the latest word from Shiza and the Yatagarasu team.
Hello, Shiza from the Yatagarasu development team here.
Let me begin by apologizing on behalf of the team for the delay of this update. We had planned to post developer updates at the start of each month, but over the last two months the team has been swamped with development work, recording new voiceovers, and preparation for this month’s JAEPO event in Japan (more on this below).
The voiceover recording has been particularly demanding. The dynamic commentary system uses a large amount of voice data, and the negotiations and formalities necessary to bring the pro voice actors onboard required an enormous amount of time and preparation. In the end, voice recording-related work took up almost all of November to February.
Moreover, I am afraid that we have difficult news to announce: Yatagarasu AoC will not be ready in time for a February/March release as originally announced.
Release Date Revision
The reason for the delay is that our graphics production hit two major setbacks. Our February release date depended on having two artists working at full output, but it took longer than we had expected to find a 2D pixel artist who could meet our requirements. In the end, we were able to pull together a team of two artists (including Kotani) and one assistant, but it took a long time to get that point.
Despite the delay, we had planned to make an initial release in February with some of the new characters, but our new artist fell ill at the end of last year and has been unable to work since, so we have had to abandon the February release.
We are searching to find a replacement to work with Kotani, but the level of 2D pixel artist required for Yatagarasu is extremely hard to find in Japan, so for now Kotani is now working on the graphics alone.
We are working non-stop, but given the situation we are forced to revise our release date from February to summer. Ultimately, this is our fault for being overly aggressive in our scheduling and we are extremely sorry to the Yatagarasu fans and campaign contributors.
Please accept our sincere apologies. We will announce a more exact release date when we have more visibility on our overall schedule.
Beta Release & JAEPO Version
Unfortunately, the above delay has also impacted our preparation for the beta release. We are now reviewing the beta schedule as part of the overall schedule review and will announce an update as soon as possible. Our apologies to all of our IndieGogo campaign supporters of Beta Access and above level contributors for this delay.
In the interim, we will release to beta-qualifying campaign backers an early version of what will become the arcade (NESiCAxLive) version of Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm which was exhibited at the JAEPO (Japan Amusement Expo) event earlier this month. This version does not include new characters, but is arcade compliant and runs on an updated game engine. As such, the resolution has been improved and there are some changes to current characters. We will provide more details when we release the build the week after next (the week of March 10th.)
Here is an update on progress on graphics for the new characters. As our development process, we first plan and put the characters in the game using rough graphics. Once all the animations are in place, we add the graphical details to the characters. Here is an example of how this looks in the case of Azure and Kotaro – click on an image to see bigger versions.
The motions and animation for new characters Kotaro and Azure are all in place and moving using rough graphics. All that’s left to do is add detail to the graphics and we are pushing ahead with this at full speed right now. Conversely, Aja Salisbury is still in early stages and has quite a bit of work to go yet.
Also since January, we have been working on adding the new voiceovers for Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm and we held four recording sessions. In addition our voice actors, some gamers from Japan’s fighting game scene came to the recordings. We will be posting photos and details of the recording sessions in future development updates.
JAEPO 2014 Event Report
JAEPO is a major event for arcade game developers and companies exhibit to their upcoming games which was held in Makuhari Messe over Feb 14-15th
. At the Taito booth
at this year’s event, a preview version of the NESiCAxLive (arcade) Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm was exhibited alongside BlazBlue, Skullgirls, Ultra Street Fighter IV, and Taito’s music game ‘Groove Coaster’ which will feature music from Yatagarasu.
The Yatagarasu AoC arcade unit.
Photo by ArcadeShock.com
Yatagarasu AoC arcade info standee.
Photo by ArcadeShock.com
During on the event, Yatagarasu dev team members Shiza and Umezono appeared on stage together with Haitani and Yatagarasu voice actor Mitsuhiro Ichiki to talk about the game. Here are some photos from JAEPO, including a specially made Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm fightsticks that were provided by Mad Catz especially for the event!
The Talent of Yatagarasu
Left to right: Haitani, voice actor Mitsuhiro Ichiki, and Shiza + Umezono from the Yatagarasu dev team
One of two Yatagarasu fightsticks specially made by Mad Catz for the event.
For this month’s ‘talent’ spot, we have a word from Takeda-san who composes and produces the songs used in the theme and stages.
Hello, my name is Takeda Joui and I’m in charge of music for Yatagarasu.
I’ve been involved with Yatagarasu for a long time and have provided music under the name SamuraiCastle. As a member of the Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm creative team, I’m hard at work writing songs!
One major musical change we’re making is to transform the main theme ‘Kataware’ from one chorus trailer version to a two chorus full song. Of course, vocals will be performed once again by LIQU@ with her amazing, sad, yet powerful singing!
I’m looking forward to you hearing it.
As a bonus items for this late update, here are some for Kotaro reference materials created by Kotani. Please enjoy!
Kotaro outer wear reference.
Kotaro underwear reference.