Devlog #10: Questions and Answers
Hello everyone! Welcome to this month’s devlog!
If you just stumbled upon this, I am Adrienne, also known as insertdisc5! I’m the developer, writer, artist, main programmer, etc of the game. The game being In Stars and Time, which is the next and final game in the START AGAIN series, following START AGAIN: a prologue (available here!). You can find out more about In Stars and Time here!!!
LET’S GET TO IT. This devlog is all about questions!!! So many questions!!! I’m gonna answer them all!!
Happy 2023, everyone! It’s the year of In Stars and Time! In Stars and Time will release sometime this year on PC and Nintendo Switch! I hope you’re excited!!! In the meantime…
Nothing much to talk about this month! I am still fixing bugs, playtesters are still playing, etc. So… here’s another Q&A (Tumblr asks edition)! They're mostly characters/story based, because that's what Tumblr is all about. No spoilers though, I promise!!!
(PS: you can ask me questions whenever on tumblr btw teehee)
Anonymous asks: Hi!! Thank you for making such a wonderful game with lovely little characters!! I spin them in my head like microwaved macaroni. Can I ask what everyone's hobbies are? And their deepest fears? (If that's not too spoilery) Also have a good day!!
Siffrin likes to do wood carvings! Isabeau likes fashion, designing clothes, sewing them, that sort of thing. Bonnie likes to cook! Mirabelle and Odile both like to read- Mirabelle is a horror fan/YA type stuff, while Odile prefers non-fiction.
As for their fears, most of them are spoilery, but Odile is really afraid of heights.
Anonymous asks: I am DYING to know what that rope is on Mirabelle's outfit is, it's sometimes visible and sometimes not and I don't know what it's attached to?? I want to draw her but this rope!! Is getting me
It’s a rope that works as a belt! It goes around her waist, not her hips. It’s so her dress isn’t all flat and boring
Anonymous asks: oh DOES Sif like wearing slippers?? They seem like a slippers guy. Also what small things ticks the characters off?
YOU FELL INTO MY TRAP!!!!!!!!!!! Siffrin prefers socks. Mirabelle is the one who wears slippers.
Hm… I think saying those would be spoilers also, so I’ll just say that Odile hates when people keep secrets from her.
Anonymous asks: What is each party member's favourite season? While we're at it, what's their favourite kind of weather?
Hm… I think Siffrin is split between winter and summer (they have a good cloak that works for all kinds of weather!). Mirabelle’s and Odile’s are fall. Bonnie’s is summer (coastal kid!). Isabeau hears everyone say every season except spring and picks spring.
They all prefer sunny weather for different reasons. Siffrin because it’s easier to travel when it’s nice outside. Bonnie because they like the sun. Mirabelle because she likes to read outside under a tree, same with Odile. Isabeau because “being under the sun gives your skin a healthy glow!”
Anonymous asks: Questions! Do you have a rough estimate for how long the game will be? If this isn’t a spoiler, how did the gang all first meet? And if it is a spoiler then… what’s each of the gang’s favourite colour?
I don't want to give any numbers just because playtimes will vary drastically depending on the way you play, but I can confirm ISAT is SIGNIFICANTLY longer than START AGAIN: a prologue!!!
For the gang meeting, first Mirabelle went traveling to try to save Vaugarde, then she met Isabeau in Jouvente, then they met Odile while traveling, then they met Siffrin, and then they met Bonnie. The nitty-gritty details aren’t really that important so I haven’t thought about it much. Most of the details on how they met will be found early in the game, so you won’t have to wait hours to know!
As for their favorite colors (Looks at the game. The game is in black and white) Think you’re funny, huh? HUH!?!???! NEXT QUESTION!!!!!
felikatze asks: how did siffrin obtain their fantabulous hat? and who is your favorite character to draw?
Siffrin was born with this cool hat. Popped right off with it on. And Siffrin is my favorite to draw, with Mirabelle a close second. Bonnie is my least favorite to draw within the gang but I still love them dearly. The King is my least favorite to draw period
inverts asks: why does siffrin wear gloves? what's loop's favourite food? what's the KING's favourite food? teehee
Bunch of reasons, but really the two main ones are 1. Looks cool and 2. Keeps them from biting their nails.
Thank you for the Loop question. No one asked about Loop!!! If Siffrin asked them their favorite food, Loop would say “bananas”. But is it true? Yes. But is it? Yes, for sure. But? Yes.
The King’s favorite food are uuuh (I go through my rolodex of foods) carambolas. Yeah
Anonymous asks: what are the gang's favorite hot cocoa toppings?
I don’t know enough about hot cocoa toppings to answer this, so have their favorite nonalcoholic drinks instead. Siffrin doesn’t think they have a favorite drink but really it’s sugarcane juice, Mirabelle’s is either tea or orange juice, Isabeau’s is probably milk or something, Odile’s is tea (but it’s gotta be expensive), Bonnie’s is pineapple juice.
Anonymous asks: whos the shortest (besides the kid) and tallest of them all?
Within the crew, Siffrin is the shortest (besides Bonnie), and Isabeau is the tallest! The real tallest is the King, of course.
Jovial-gender-jester asks: did the kid & their sister ever cook together?
Their sister taught them how to cook, so yes!
Anonymous asks: will we learn more about how Siffrin damaged one of their eyes?
Anonymous asks: what’s your opinion on speedrunning isat/saap from a lore perspective? as in, what do you think goes through siffrin’s head when they decide to do it?
>:3c teehees evil-y (⬅has added an item and lore made specifically for speedrunners)
Anonymous asks: is the gang gonna be okay. are they gonna be happy
>:3c I teehee evil-y once more
Anonymous asks: Is there a map of the world? Where are things exactly (e.g. where is Ka Bue compared to Vaugarde (?) ?)
Have this map I drew early in development of the countries around Vaugarde. The story doesn’t really need me to know about The Whole Map so I didn’t think about it. I only figured out two neighboring countries’ names too so I could say other countries’ names for Worldbuilding Reasons (as in, to show Vaugarde is a country inside a world, and not just The Only Country In The World), but I do see Vaugarde as being surrounded with many other ones. Could’ve figured out more country names, but two is a good number. Ka Bue is on the other side of the world- Odile has been traveling for A While. For country sizes here, think European countries!
jovial-gender-jester asks: is it alright to ask how you came up with craftonomy? it was cool realizing it's different from craftology, and maybe has no bearing? the concept's fascinating!
Welcome to insertdisc5’s brainstorm theater
Hi I am insertdisc5 and I am making the prologue> ok i need a magic system for this world > fuck i can’t use basic fire water grass because one of my puzzles is all around finding a fire > ok well every magic system in rpg games is just rock paper scissors really > so… why not… just… rock paper scissors > ok but what kind of world comes up with that tho > so maybe it’s all around Creating Things… you can make all kinds of art with rock (sculpting) paper (art, writing) and scissors (uh… idk cutting things) and i kind of like the idea of magic being something similar to art, so let’s call it Craft > ok now i need to create events with every fucking thing i added to the maps, and also explain the world a bit more > the study of craft… craftonomy > hey you know how you have astronomy (studying space) and astrology (adding meanings to constellations, horoscope) so it’d be funny if it was the same, it would be a funny joke > craftonomy (studying craft) and craftology (“if you’re rock type you’re probably very strong but gullible hehe”) are born
Punkitt-is-here asks: How is RPGMaker treating you ⬅(best wishes)
Rpgmaker is my little cat that stays on my lap cutely and doesn’t even scratch me anymore. This is in big part thanks to my programmer who takes care of the really hard code for me teehee (THANK YOU ISABELLA!!!)
hummingcrows asks: How do you stay motivated!
I genuinely don’t have a helpful answer for this, I don’t find it hard to stay motivated to finish things in general lmao… The few times I felt discouraged, I just either went “ok what’s like A Small Thing I can finish today, so this day isnt a total wash” even if it’s just doing one sprite, or “what’s one thing that would make me really happy to add” like a small scene or something, or just making the chairs’ backs rounder for Lore Reasons, and then I do it, and I am happy, and I am motivated
Anonymous asks: what was it like converting the character designs to game sprites? did they transfer easily or was it difficult?
Pretty easy! Outside of Siffrin (who already has a very simple design), I knew I would have to convert them into sprites, so I knew I couldn’t go too detailed with them. Even with their first concept art, I made sure to doodle them as sprites as well so I could make sure they would look distinct from one another!
(Very First Concept Art for everyone except Siffrin. Got their faces first try! (Except Bonnie))
Honestly the main problem was with their height… In the prologue, they all are very small, since I used a 48x48 size, and Siffrin has a MASSIVE hat that takes almost half his size, so all the other characters had to be drawn relative to Siffrin’s size, which meant I couldn’t add as many details as I wanted. I’m glad that for In Stars and Time I found a way to make the sprites taller (they’re 48x96 now, but I’m not using the full height), so now they are all cute and not squished.
(Some of the first sprites I did for the prologue. Look at how squished everyone looks!)
(Profile sprites for In Stars and Time)
roebeanstalk asks: Have you run into any mechanics you've been excited about, but have decided it's better to save them for a future project to keep this one going? Kind of a "kill your darlings" but for game mechanics?
I’m very happy to say that I’ve managed to add all the things I wanted to add to the game! It helped that there weren’t that many mechanics I wanted to add in the first place lol. I even had time to add one I scrapped early in development because it wasn’t that important! But it made me happy to add it so it’s in now!!!!
galaksyz asks: how many siffrins must be stacked on top of each other until they overtake the eiffel tower in height (ok i just wanted to give you the mental image of the Siffrin Pillar)
actual question: once the game is released, what part of fan reactions & creations would you look forward to most/what would you hope for most?
i think it would be awesome to see fan comics or animations, or OST remixes, or YT playthroughs, analysis/essay videos, maybe AUs... if you had to pick just one of those sorts of things, what would it be that you'd like the most?
212.9 Siffrins. Thank you for asking
And I genuinely love every single fan reaction/creation I've seen so far!!!! I have many folders filled with everyone's reactions/creations that I love to look at when I feel down :')
Fan comics definitely have a special spot for me in my heart tho... Those were always my favorite kind of fanarts to make, as a fanartist myself. The comics I’ve seen from the prologue already make me so so so happy!!!
And also, people just writing about the game… Like, just about things they like, things they’ve noticed, or theories they have, there’s also been a few and they just make me so happy. My brain goes on a loop of “yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah”. This is why I love the theories channel on the discord so much hehe, I tried really hard to add little breadcrumbs so it makes me happy when people pick up on it!!! And someone made a post that was just a list of everything they liked about the prologue and it made me so happy it felt like I was floating for a week hehe
pixxyofice asks: I am always curious about gamedev struggles. So... how hard is it to fix bugs for this game in particular? With the time looping I bet it would be hard to figure out maybe.
Uhhh and also what are each member's favorite colors?
Not that hard! I haven’t done a lot of Big Weird Code inside of rpgmaker, so any bugs are usually because I messed up a switch or variable, so it’s just a matter of figuring out the problem and changing one (1) thing. As for finding out there’s even a bug, that’s what QA and playtesting are for!
Bugs related to the time loop mechanic have all been taken care of (FOR NOW?!?), so the bugs now are mostly related to choices, since some choices appear/disappear depending on where you are in the story. So sometimes I get a playtester like “hey Adrienne, i don't understand this choice i'm getting here”, and it’s because i messed up and it shouldn't be here yet. OOPS!
As for their favorite colors (I look again. The game is STILL in black and white. I try to run towards you but I'm held back) lemme at ‘em, LEMME AT ‘EM– (a few minutes pass, I calm down) Ok. What's the last question?
itr13 asks: what's everyone's favourite colors?
Mirabelle’s would be a warm pink, Siffrin’s black, Odile’s dark green, Isabeau’s sunflower yellow, and Bonnie's black (but really, light blue). ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?!?
That’s all I have to say for today! Let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s any aspect of the game development struggle you’d like me to talk about! See you next time!!! And once again: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
AND DON’T FORGET TO WISHLIST THE GAME ON STEAM ALSO IT REALLY HELPS BECAUSE STEAM’S ALGORITHM IS MORE LIKELY TO SHOW OFF GAMES WITH A HIGH AMOUNT OF WISHLISTS THAT’S THE REASON WHY GAME DEVS ALWAYS ASK TO WISHLIST!!! OKAY BYE!!!!
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