No Closure. Not Yet.

The game will have fully reached beta stage by the end of this week, and I hope to start recording a final playthrough video and shorter “trailer” video that can be shown on the internet/at the critique in a couple of weeks time. I apologise for the lack of videos I’ve posted towards the end of the project, but I’ve had yet more problems with codec compatibility with the Vcap dll I had been using for a while. I’ve got time now, so I’m going to sort out the problem once and for all.

Things are gradually getting crossed of my to do list, and I’m trying to do things in an order of priority. Today I drew up that last two “slides” for the game’s perfect ending, so there’s now very little that I actually need to make or add. These final images don’t really provide closure, because I think if the player has struggled through finding every single blossom throughout the game then the last thing they’ll want is a simple “…and everyone lived happily ever after.” The intention was that the player gets this from the regular ending.

This time, Hana returns to the shrine where she placed the Kokeshi doll only to find that the doll and the cherry blossoms are missing. This could lead to two opposite conclusions- either the mischievous spirit has escaped and will continue to wreak havoc, or she has gone away and left the world to get on with life without disturbance. I haven’t really placed any clues as to which one it is, I think the player can decide this for themselves.

The next slide could be the decider, however. This shows Zashiki Warashi next to the Maneki Neko. I personally intended this image to look as though the spirit has given into her childish nature and taken on the more playful characteristics of a child, but again this is up to the player to decide. It’s a good or bad ending, but either way, the game ends here and there is nothing more to do.

I’ve also been busy finishing a full-scale mock-up prototype of my packaging design, which I’m happy to say works very well. For the mock-up, I’ve used thin black cardboard for the case, which I’ve painstakingly measured and cut by hand to make sure all the dimensions add up. The manual is printed onto glossy photo paper, which is a bit thick for its purpose but gives it a nice shiny finish! I’ve only printed the cover for now, which actually ended up going a little wrong as I forgot to print the logo onto the back. In the photos I’ve used the manual cover for the box cover, which just means you get the words “instruction manual” on the front of the box. I printed the disc art onto normal printer paper and stuck it onto the CD with paper glue!

Second Half of Weekend Update #6

I’ve slotted in time for two extra slides that will appear during the credits of the game, which I have written up this weekend and will appear after the boss fight. These depict the events that happen after the Zashiki Warashi is defeated and the kokeshi doll is acquired, although I’ve specifically made sure that these images don’t nicely wrap up the game, as I’m saving this for the “perfect ending”.

The first slide shows Hana placing the kokeshi doll in a small shrine, along with a bowl full of the collected cherry blossoms. This is saying “crisis averted”, I tried to make this image simple and peaceful as though you know everything is all right.

The final slide is just there as an ender, and shows the most frequent characters back celebrating Hanami along with Hana who now holds a Hanami Dango (although this is quite difficult to see, as it seems to merge with Kyo’s face quite well!)

After the credits, the player is taken straight back to the beginning of the game for the new game plus, where they keep all the items they’ve obtained but get to go back through the levels and try to find every single last cherry blossom. If they do, nothing currently happens, as I haven’t drawn up a “perfect ending” yet! This is one of the last things I have to do before the game is ready for beta testing, as well as a few other little things like a game icon and loading screen.