Herald: final stretch

15-1-2017 11:41

A long time ago, last September to be exact, I posted the news item about the new trailer for Herald. Not much has happened on my website since then. So it’s time for a small update, because I certainly have enough to share!

We’re nicely on track with the work on Herald. I can’t give you an exact date yet, but it looks like we won’t have to deviate from the promised ‘first quarter of 2017’. It’s really the last stretch: adding the last voices and animations, finding the last bugs, and making everything just that little bit prettier.

What I’ve mostly been occupying myself with lately is coordinating the ship’s crew. These characters don’t play a large role in the story, but they do have the important task of adding flavour to the scenes—and keeping the ship on course, naturally. Climbing the shrouds or mopping the deck in the background, they comment on events from the story, advise protagonist Devan about seafaring life, or joke among themselves.

Each of the characters started with no more than a name and a face, and it was incredibly fun to gradually give them their own story and personality with the limited means I had. But I’m also glad that this big task is now (as good as) finished! Walking around the ship, you really get the feeling that people work and live there, and with about 200 lines of text the crew has enough to say to keep the inquisitive player busy for a while.

Part of the document in which I keep track of the activities of all characters per scene (blurred against spoilers). Useful to keep an eye on internal consistency!

Herald has had a page on Steam for a while now, where you can also read a recent news post.

As you can see, my life currently revolves mostly around a 19th century sailing ship and her crew and passengers, and it will probably remain that way until the game is released. However, I also try not to lose sight of my other projects in the meantime. Thaoryn has had a few months’ break: I was getting a bit lost in the details and needed some distance to get back to the heart of the story. Now it’s time to get back to work in a productive way and make a start on the last chapters.

Meanwhile I also want to keep improving and expanding my website. There have been a few small additions that I haven’t yet mentioned in a news post: for example, the pages with photos (like Xenophobia) now have clear buttons to browse through the pictures, and a small section with ‘related news’ has been added to the bottom of pages where applicable. Furthermore, the ‘click and drag’ hint on the front page now appears (at most) once per visit, and the page remembers where you left off instead of always opening at the centre. All small things, but they make the visitor’s life that tiny bit easier.

So that’s where I’m at right now: exciting times for Herald, and apart from that life goes on quietly. But I want to conclude with an image that appeared on my Facebook wall recently:

I don’t know yet what 2017 will bring… but I absolutely plan to plant some flowers.

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