The full version's final price hasn't been set yet, but it will be available at a special price of about $15 on the release date. The stretch goal for a Silas romance route wasn't reached, but the Sabre goal was!
Recent community posts
Looking at somewhere between November-December now. Our artist has had to slow down her pace a little to take care of her family. We'll be releasing an updated demo soon with new gui, art, etc., so stay on the lookout for that!
Heya! Dovah here, the writer/lead dev on Requiescence. Thank you very much for your kind words -- we really love getting such detailed feedback. :) It's super helpful for us as developers to know what you guys want!
Just to address any potential updates to Req in terms of art etc., they may happen at some point in the future, but right now, we're focusing 100% of our efforts on getting new games out. After COB is done and we have a few more under our belt, we may revisit Req and give it some TLC. It was our first project so it's definitely a little rough around the edges.
We've also had similar thoughts ourselves about a lot of the things you mentioned, like having in-route choices matter (in COB, they all contribute towards your ending) and (hopefully) character development. From a writer's standpoint, I'm not fully satisfied with how a lot of aspects of Req turned out, and I tried to make note of things I wasn't happy with so that I could avoid making the same mistakes in COB's story.
We have our own interpretation for the endings, but we'd like to leave the ultimate decision up to the players. ;) There may be another game in the Requiescence world that takes place on a later timeline, so the real impacts of the "canon" ending might be explained there. However, I will say this: I personally consider Kaul's "bad" ending to be the most ambiguous, and not necessarily a "bad" ending, either. Absalom actually has a sympathetic backstory that makes it difficult for me to really see him as a villain.
I'm considering releasing the backstories for the characters that I wrote out during Req's planning phase, so that might give a little insight into their personalities as well down the line~
The preorders and Kickstarter tiers should be the same, so you'll be receiving the rewards without the need to support us on both platforms. If there were any discrepancies, refer to the Kickstarter page as the final version.
- Beta test the full game
- Digital Copy of OST
- Digital Copy of the game
- Desktop wallpaper
- Name in Credits
We've narrowed down the voice actors to the Top 2-3. It was a difficult process, but after going through 500+ auditions over 2 days (~6 hours total), it is done!
You can vote for your favorite actors over on the Kickstarter.
Disclaimer: The polls are purely for fun and will have no influence on how the actors are chosen.
Ideally it'll be released in June, but if the KS doesn't get funded, the date may be pushed back to around August. Although there are already a couple of factors that may delay the release even if KS is funded (most of our potential voice actors are in UK/Australia). It'll definitely be released this year though!
Yeah..they've had that issue for a long time now >_<. And we speculate that a lot of our market doesn't use a CC. But worry not, you will definitely be able to play the game in the future! Just maybe on a slightly delayed timeline. :) Thanks for all your support <3
Mhmm if it doesn't get funded, we're hoping we can draw up some contracts to pay people on a slightly less up-front basis and possibly start a Patreon. Don't worry about COB dying if the campaign doesn't get funded! We are DEFINITELY finishing it >:D. In a timely manner!!
Thanks for your support <3
We're up to 2.6k raised on Kickstarter and 290 "yes" votes on Greenlight, and we're hoping to still pick up speed! Thanks so much to all of you who already supported us!
Today, we're showing off the awesome fanart of our artist Mizu! This time, she drew a younger Arden, looking as badass as they come. The trail of blood behind him suggests he's just had an encounter with some enemies, and came out the victor.
The quote "No one will lay a finger on you while I'm here…" is from the trailer, and a core part of Arden's attitude towards Rivian. While usually cute and warm enough to be labeled a "puppy" by his fans (i.e. us in the Discord), he's definitely not someone to be taken lightly just because of his personality.
COB Kickstarter Update #1
We've reached $2k on Kickstarter and almost 240 "yes" votes on Greenlight, and we're hoping to still pick up speed! Thanks so much to all of you who already supported us!
As we charge headfirst into energizing our campaigns, we're still working hard on other assets for the game, as well as fun fanart! Below, you can enjoy a look at a sweet scene between the normally-cranky Linnaeus and Rivian, courtesy of our artist Mizu!
If you can, support our Thunderclap by just signing in on your Tumblr! It'll really help us push for funding when we get close to the end of the campaign.
Chess of Blades Kickstarter Countdown: + ~3 days?
Hey everyone, gamma here today with 12 minutes to spare before the day is over. We had a huge work party today (7:30am donut and chip pickup, 8-6 work with 1hr lunch break) to get the Kickstarter and Greenlight campaigns ready. While we were happily working away (not that happily…the Kickstarter editor isn't exactly the best), we discovered………that we forgot Kickstarter has to review your campaign for up to 3 business days before it can go live. SOOOOO Chess of Blades has a *slight* delay in its Kickstarter launch. But rest assured, it will be launched this week!!! In the meantime, have a preview of the campaign's banners and play the demo!
We have a #spoilers and #bug_and_feedback channel in our Discord, so come hang out and report back your experience!
GUI Demo Work + Screenshots
Only 3 days left before the COB Kickstarter begins! While the demo is something of an alpha, we still want to make it look nice, so we're replacing the default Ren'Py GUI with our customized version.
The (temporary) main menu screen, still a WIP! Better than the solid grey background that was there before, though… >_>
Fiddling around with a preferences menu in Photoshop. We are by no means GUI artists, but sometimes you have to improvise.
A sneak peek of Franz – with a new quickmenu at the bottom of the dialogue box! Say hi, Franz!
We're very excited to share what we've been working on with you all! It's hard work setting all the basics up in Ren'Py (GUI, sound effect library, sprites and backgrounds, etc) but once we get into the swing of things, production goes by really fast.
4 days to KS: Music Teaser
4 days left until COB's Kickstarter! Today, we want to tease a little bit of our soundtrack, which is currently in the works! The soundtrack for COB is almost entirely orchestral, inspired by a lot of classical pieces, as well as by composers like Jeremy Soule and John Williams. The music for COB is being composed by Alec Sievern, whose portfolio you can check out here!
Teaser 1: Trailer Music
This short clip is from our trailer/cinematic track, so you'll be hearing the full version of it when our trailer is complete! It's action packed and sweeping, so we think you guys will like it.
Teaser 2: Waltz
Our second teaser is from the main waltz in COB. You'll first hear this track in the demo, when Rivian gets his first glimpse of the dancing at the royal festival!
Rivian, of course, hates dancing and swears he's never going to partake in it. We'll see if he makes good on that promise, or if someone persuades him to do otherwise!
(5 days to Kickstarter!) Demo Sneak Peek!
Hello everyone! The date for our Kickstarter (March 5th) is rapidly approaching, and so for our special countdown, we're going to be sharing some screenshots for our demo with you. The demo will be released alongside the Kickstarter (or possibly before), so everyone can see what Chess of Blades is all about! It will be free, and roughly 15 minutes in length.
Everyone's favorite puppy, Arden, makes his first introduction! Rivian isn't so happy to see him, unfortunately... these two go way back.
A mysterious man who Rivian meets on the balcony? Who could it possibly be??
Rivian encounters the dynamic duo of Silas and Hazel. At least Hazel likes him.
As a note, the GUI we have shown here (text box, portrait, etc) is all temporary stuff we have for the demo. But the main parts of the game (art, transitions, sound, music) are all working their way into the game... it's so exciting!
Log #18: Voice Acting, New Logo!
Hey everyone! Dovah here with the last dev log of the week. I'm really excited to say that our voice acting auditions for Chess of Blades are NOW OPEN!
Voice Acting Boards Link:
We've already gotten a few auditions on CCC, but we're still looking for more! Auditions for these characters will be open until the end of our Kickstarter (about April 10) – there are also 2 more characters who will be added in later on.
Please share with anyone you know who's interested in voice acting! The positions are paid (we're not as broke as we were for Requiescence's VA), and you can see more specifics on our CCC or BTVA pages.
In other news… we're currently working on getting the demo together! As I attempt to un-rust my Ren'Py skills, amusing results occur:
The demo will be released either simultaneously with our Kickstarter, or a little before! Get HYPED!
Finally, we've been working on a new logo! Thoughts?
Log #17: Character Expressions!
As anyone who's played a visual novel is probably aware of, the characters' expressions are a huge part of the experience – and, when there's no voice acting, they affect how you read the characters' words in your head.
We've been hard at work making (or rather, having our
slave artist Paradise make) distinct expressions for our characters. Let's take a look at some of them today!
We like to call this "chipmunk Rivian," or the rejected "annoyed" expression. Isn't he ridiculously cute? We thought this was generally a bit too exaggeratedly anime-ish for our currently more serious style, but it may make an appearance somewhere in the game.
Silas' annoyed expression, or as Paradise likes to call it, "who just broke something?"
Angry Hazel is angry. Everyone else seems to think she looks like a demon, but I'm of the opinion that she's pretty dang cute. Maybe not Chipmunk Rivian levels of cute, but you know, still up there.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LET PARADISE OFF THE LEASH. Not indicative of final product. =.=;
For all the visual novel developers out there, how do you decide which expressions a character needs? For those of you just play VNs, do you prefer super exaggerated anime expressions with goofy eyes/lines/etc, or a more serious style?
Hey everyone! Dovah here with your dev logs this week, since Gamma's super busy, and I am a totally awesome team member, so I'm picking up the slack. :D
Today, I'm gonna introduce you to Linnaeus -- the third and final love interest (and my personal bias, cough)! He may seem to have a bit of a rotten personality at first, but he develops a soft spot for Rivian pretty fast.
Appearance: Male, 25 years, 6'2, long black hair (down to waist) tied back in ponytail, pale, elegant/sharp/angular features, thin and lanky build, blue eyes behind rectangular glasses.
Voice: Medium-low, sharp, sarcastic, a bit scornful, quick and elegant
Personality: Harsh, haughty, smug, highly intelligent, perceptive, a little sadistic, dubious morality.
This was his very first iteration. Isn't that hair majestic? I wasn't too fond of the rectangular glasses just because they looked overly modern so I asked Paradise to make them "more old-timey."
...Okay, not _that_ old-timey.
Having his hair in a ponytail is a distinct part of Linnaeus' style, so Para reworked his hair to this glorious state. He rocks it, don't you think?
He also found a brief blond iteration for testing purposes. For some reason, he really reminds me of some kind of French nobleman or something with that hair.
Finished and colored! Isn't he fantastic? Look at those megane~ Say hi to Linnaeus, our sharp-tongued Inquisitor!
While we wait on Paradise to draw our final love interest, Linnaeus (or Linny), there's still Hazel to be introduced. Hazel is this little Kawaii Maid. She's pretty much the only one with actual wild-colored hair. Though she's young, she has a pretty big role in COB.
Appearance: Female, 10 years, 4'8, long pink hair in pigtails or tied back, fairly pale, cute as fuck, lolita maid aesthetic, brown eyes.
Voice: High, innocent, playful, happy, sweet.
Personality: Adventurous, clever, curious, secretive, sweet.
You know, your typical little maid-chan.
She was cleared from the get-go. Probably because Paradise really hates drawing females, so she didn't want to have to go through a bunch of iterations XD.
Hair color took a bit of work…we had an argument over the color salmon.
And then bow/ribbon color…
*phew* she's finally done. Our kawaii little
evil demon maid-chan. There were a couple more iterations on her eyes, but I didn't save those pics, and I'm a little too lazy to search back through thousands of logs just to find them. They aren't that interesting anyways.
To trailer storyboarding! Disclaimer: we (as in Dovah) hates storyboarding. I'm neutral to it since I haven't done any of it yet :3.
We want a proper game trailer that's many stories above our Requiescence Kickstarter trailer. If you can't remember what that one was… behold!
Such great production value amirite. One of our friends helped us with it, and we (as in Dovah and him) spent many hours on it, but..alas, our inexperience is clearly displayed.
So we are turning to Amy Smith, the person that helped us with our Requiescence OP. This thing:
Here's what our storyboard doc looks like:
As you can see, we link the folders with assets at the top and the trailer music. The trailer length should be exactly 1:28 (at least, that's the length of the music). And then we start listing out what we want to happen for how long. The times for the 2nd and 3rd bullet points are messed up because Dovah is actively working on the storyboard as I write this log. Who knows if any of what's currently on that screenshot will even be there in the final product! (Well, the logo will be there…like 99% chance).
Nothing too mind-blowing. We haven't actively studied the art of storyboarding, so we're just going off of how we do other design docs. If anyone has input on how they storyboard, it would be great to hear from you.
Log #14: [BG] BG #2 complete, CG #1
That's a pretty hefty title today. Lots of acronyms and numbers and symbols. Last week, we saw some sketches and lineart of background #2, and today, Mizu sent us the completed version! Time to show off:
If you remember from last week, that mural in the center of the ground floor used to be a nice smiley. I was all for keeping smileys in the backgrounds as a sort of easter egg hunt, but alas, Dovah disagreed :( I'll have to find some other way to sneakily add easter eggs! Keep it a secret from Dovah, :ok:.
Mizu's started work on background #3 now, so hopefully that will be ready for next week. In the meantime…let's look at the background for one of our CGs. I may have mentioned it before, but CGs are being split between Mizu and Paradise, with Mizu doing the backgrounds and Paradise focusing on the characters.
The process for making CGs is:
- Paradise sketches character pose
- Mizu sketches background behind pose
- Mizu creates background (colors/paints, etc.; not line arting for CG BGs)
- Paradise colors and finishes up characters
It's a little bit of a process, especially since the files have to be passed around (and Mizu is in the opposite time zone). But that just means that Mizu is working on multiple backgrounds at once while waiting for other things to happen (like a character pose sketch for the next CG).
CG #1 is the scene when Rivian's arrival to the grand hall is first announced. He's a shy kid, and everyone keeps staring at him :(
So first, Paradise sketches the pose, something likeee
Next, Mizu sketches the background…
Do you see all those people in the background? Mizu's gotta color all their fancy party clothes. She curses our choice of setting on a daily basis because of all the fine detailing and coloring work.
Dat coloring…We left all the clothing coloring etc. to Mizu. The main direction given was with the lighting (warm, bright, golden). You can see how she's using a painting rather than digital line art style. She's much happier with painting, so maybe we can pull a couple extra CGs out of her… hehe.
Now she passed the CG BG file back over to Paradise, and Paradise colored in Rivian.
Et voila! Our first CG is complete! (There's also a version with his eyes closed like in the background sketch).
If you've gotten the good endings for both of the other routes: Make sure you a) have unzipped the files, b) have started a new game, and c) if that doesn't work, close the game and reopen it.
Log #13: Silas and Valentine's Day fanart<3
First off, Happy Valentine's Day! Or Single's Day. Or Singles' Awareness Day. etc. Well, it's no longer that day for most of the world at this time, but look at our artists' presents to us, for you!
The virgin killer sweater kitty is from Paradise, who used it to announce her return from MIA status. Quite the pleasant surprise. Our Sir Ganguro is from Mizu, who sketched it all excitedly before asking for permission to make Vday fanart :D
Now, onwards to our version of a hell of a butler: Silas!
Sebas-chan (Kuroshitsuji) was definitely one of our references for art style, so, given the setting of COB, of course we had to have our very own butler.
Appearance: Male, 32 years, 6'2, sleek and short black hair, slightly middle-aged looking, elegant and calm features, grey eyes. HAS WHITE BUTLERY GLOVES BOI.
Personality: Refined, elegant, polite, highly clever/perceptive, somewhat impartial.
Voice: Low, polite, refined pronunciation, confident, butlery
You know, a typical butler. I'm sure your imagination is running wild now over his appearance, so, without much further adieu, I present Silas.
Woops. That's Early Silas. Here's Proper Silas.
Log #12: Arden
Hellooooo! Today's another character introduction. Speeding them up a little so that they don't run right into the Kickstarter!
Here's Arden (or our little pup Clifford, as we call him). He's one of the romantic interests.
Voice: Medium, gentle, friendly, a bit slow paced, emotional
Appearance: Male, 22 years, 5'11, red hair that's a bit shaggy (around ear length), slightly tan, boyish/gentle features, fairly muscular build, large gold/reddish eyes.
Personality: Gentle, trusting, easily persuaded, strong sense of honor/duty, protective.
He's got a pretty hefty one eh? *looks pointedly*
There we go. A little more normal looking. Not that there's anything wrong with having a big one *wink*
Only now does Dovah remind Paradise that he does not have a RAPIER.
Ahh the normal straight sword handle. Bye bye fancy rapier handle!
Remember how we were super picky about hair color – well, color in general?
Yup. Look at all that color difference. We finally settled on something, but there was a ton of back and forth, Paradise sending tons of pics.
Now, ladies and gents, let me present our cute little pupper!
Log #11: [BG] Castle Main Hall - Balcony
Let's look at our second background today! It's in the same room as BG#1, just upstairs and looking out over one of the side balconies (into the main hall).
Yup. Pretty much looks like you're looking over a side railing. The only comment Dovah had was "Where's the staircase?" (probably the blue line on the bottom left of Rivian's coat). After we discussed it a bit, we finally decided that it was fine to not see any bit of the stairs/landing, since the hall is big enough. Perspective is hard, especially when we don't Art ourselves ==;;.
Mizu sent us these two pics asking which one was better....and we had no idea what was different between them until she explicitly told us "Check the front railing height!" Should it be by Rivian's waist or his elbow? It was a tiny difference D: Ultimately we decided on elbow-height since he should basically be right up against the railing.
Yay lineart is done! Rivian has become Mizu's official reference sprite. Which is perfectly fair, since he's our grumpy MC. Now that we know better about the whole perspective issue with backgrounds, it is much easier to avoid it, and clean lineart is finished faster. Coloring is still an issue though, especially since Dovah is not around much of the same time as Mizu is (class and timezone difference), so the general background making process isn't as optimized as it could be..yet.
You could join our discord and hang out with us as we make our next game (or follow along on some other of our many platforms...itch, twitter, tumblr, gamejolt, fb... etc.) :3. Our kickstarter will be launching soon too, so we'll need to call on your support~
Damian was our baby too :>
Log #10: Franz
Today we are looking at Franz, one of the romantic interests! And also our (everyone in Discord, Mizu and Paradise) favorite. They have already several fan art pieces of the pair: Gangian (Ganguro (aka Franz) x Rivian).
Taken from the Design Doc
Appearance: Male, 25 years, 6'4, brown hair somewhat cropped, tanned, traditionally masculine features with defined jaw, light stubble, dark brow, green eyes.
Voice: Medium-low, slow/deliberate, flirtatious, breathy/sensual, husky (optionally)
Personality: Flirtatious, sensual, hedonistic, philosophical, secretive, confident, graceful.
Have an idea of what he looks like?
Alright, here's Paradise's sketch.
When we first saw this sketch in Discord, all we got was:
We were confused. Was it a crotch or was it his face?
Anyway, pose is a wee bit too flamboyant for
Franz Ganguro's default.
There. Something more like that. Although his crotch area is a little bit *too puffy*, if you get what I mean.
Well, on to hair color! Dovah is super picky about hair color, probably because we were supposed to be departing from the realistic colors…
Closer….too light still.
Perfect. It's really hard for us to determine base color since a lot of the look and feel will change with shading. We think Paradise gets a little angry at us with our color pickiness!
<insert lots of wips and color testing. We gotta save something for the Artbook!>
We have a pirate!
(p.s. don't forget all these little character squares are temp. since we haven't figured out a nice uniform GOOD LOOKING yet.
Log #9: Kickstarter banner drafting
Announcement: Dev log schedule will change to Tues/Thurs/Sat since we have the Monday newsletter ^w^.
Last update of the week! While our artists are busy working away on characters and backgrounds, us devs are beginning to make the graphics for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign, to be launched around March 5, 2017. Keep on the lookout!
The banners I'm talking about are the themed ones that separate sections of information on a KS campaign.
You can tell how low budget and uncreative we were for our Requiescence banner. We are determined to do better for Chess of Blades! If only slightly!!
(P.S. Since I am absolutely design incompetent, I badgered Dovah to start working on the banners; shhh keep it a secret.)
First version Dovah sent me:
Uhh…those masks….are kinda creepy and not really the kind you would see at a masquerade ball.
Eh…the shape of the flag in the back is kinda ugly? It looks way too fat for the text. The cream color is kind of too clashy/plain with the fancy rose and the white text. You also can't see that mask on top of the rose. I almost missed it again while writing up this log.
Not bad? That rose is way giant though. Again, that mask color is impossible to see. Even though the font is the same as before, it looks especially boring and ugly since there is less stroke/shadow.
I don't know what happened to the red O, but the mask looks a little more visible and the overall feel of the image isn't so off-balance. But the banner itself still looks too skinny/plain?
Now the banner is super fat and the text looks like it is photoshopped badly on top of the banner =.=. We can do different colored masks for the different sections, but the overall look still…blech. Unbalanced.
Needless to say…we are still working on these things ==;;. If anyone has suggestions, we are open!! Please send them! All the help! :D If they are super awesome, we will showcase them all over our KS! (with proper credit of course).
Log #8: [BG]Castle - Main Hall
Today's a background day. Let's see how Mizu has changed that trial sketch into a full blown background. The final background will be a little bit different because we had to make a major revision yesterday/today (Mizu is 12 hours ahead of us), but we can show some of the steps going toward the first version.
Just to remind ourselves of the sketch:
We gave the OK on the sketch because the layout looked great. Mizu then cleaned up the lines.
You can still see the outline for the carpet, but since that will be painted on later, it just has the lines for its edges. They are a little bit hard to see, but they still follow the original sketch, extending all the way forward and up the two staircases. Now time for some pretty line art:
Look at those beautiful flying staircases. There's probably an official term for them, but we enjoy calling them like so. The side balconies aren't in yet, but you can clearly see the intricate baroque-ian we're going for in those rails. Baroque probably also isn't the correct term, but… we just want that old architectural style with all the ornaments, filigree, and excess detail; if you know what the name of the style we're going for is, tell us and we'll switch to it.
Though a lot of background is copy pasta-able…it still takes a while to make half of the background (since it's symmetric, you can just mirror it, yay digital art software).
Checking perspective now to before we color and add more details. Rivian looks a tiny bit giant, but if he was moved down a little and you imagine you're standing on an elevated surface, then it doesn't look wrong.
Aand then we added in the side balconies and did not test perspective again, proceeded to color, almost finished coloring and texturing…and realized that all the characters must be giant and levitating. So poor Mizu has to go all the way back to the lineart stage and fix the perspective.
Luckily, Mizu is a super optimistic and cheery artist, so she is tackling this challenge with all her fiery energy. Visit our Discord to witness her cuteness in person.