It has been a while since we last shared substantial news about the state of progress for Inciting Incident’s sequel, and an even longer time since I wrote a blogpost (the two are more or less related, to tell the truth). There’s a lot to say, so you can expect this post to be pretty long.
1 - Thank you
First of all, I wanted to thank you all for the amazing reception we got at the release of Inciting Incident. It couldn’t make us any happier to see people read and enjoy the story we’ve prepared for them. Still, to this day, we regularly receive messages from people telling us how they felt when reading Inciting Incident, and even though we are not always able to reply, we’re extremely grateful for your support! Of course, we do realize that Inciting Incident created (rather high) expectations for the sequel, and this is partly why things have been taking so long.
2 - What we’ve been up to for the past two years
Long story short; when we finished Inciting Incident, we more or less had a vague idea of the story’s direction. More precisely, I knew how the sequel would start and how it would conclude, but everything in between was still a work in progress. That’s when issues started to arise. We’ve had creative disagreements regarding how the rest of the story should be handled. Our Inciting Incident main writer, Luna, also left to pursue her own project (I really recommend you to check it out here if you haven’t heard of it already), which left me trying to find a new recruit to fill in her shoes for her route, something that would end up becoming quite the difficult task.
In the months following the release, we continued to discuss the continuation of the story. We continued to become more and more frustrated after discussions, especially since we were ambitious and wanted to create something that wouldn’t let the readers down, but proposed concepts were often debated over. We didn’t share the same ideologies in terms of story writing. Frankly, all of this was really getting to me, and I was getting really tired of it all (add the fact that I had worked nearly non stop for half a year in order to make sure Inciting Incident release would be a success), and I ended up losing motivation and becoming less and less active. It’s at around this time that I asked David to temporarily replace me since I needed a break from Lucid9. Truth be told, I sometimes considered to quit at that point. After all, the release of Inciting Incident was a success and left me really satisfied with what I had accomplished. But there was always the nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I couldn’t really let it all remain unfinished like this, and that a lot of people were actually waiting for the sequel. I couldn’t let them down.
Months passed, and a number of writers came and left. Elizabeth’s previous writer was replaced by Via. Nugget took over Suna’s role as Akira’s Route writer but was eventually replaced by Reddly. Clestae was also bogged down by real life commitments, and as a result, had to resign from her writer position to become an editor. DJ is currently filling in as Airi’s writer, who has done some very good work so far, and you can all expect him to do Airi’s route justice. Via joining the team is what motivated me to get involved in Lucid9 again, as he had a good head on his shoulders, shared (or at least understood) my thought process when creating or commenting on the content, and was always willing to work out all the details for his route and the world lore in general. Eventually, at the end of 2017, I was fully directing Lucid9 again, and here I am now writing this update. I’m also extremely grateful to David who held the fort while I was not motivated enough to work on Lucid9. Without him, the project would probably have died back then.
3 - What concrete progress has been made so far?
Here are how things stand currently for Lucid9’s sequel :
- Quite a lot of background art has been completed. Expect to see Yama visit new places that were only mentioned previously in Inciting Incident.
- The writing is finally showing progress. Of course, the amount of progress varies from writer to writer, but most of them have gotten a good grip on their characters and how to naturally write them so that dialogue and narration remain close to the one in Inciting Incident. The lore has been greatly expanded, and every route is planned out. So really, from now on, it’s a matter of writing regularly (and I’ll be here to make sure that progress is indeed done regularly).
- Music hasn’t seen much progress at the moment, but we’ve been trying to remedy that. Expect more music in the future.
- Most of the male characters have their first sprite done while the female cast is still mostly in development. Dizzy, the female characters artist, decided to improve her drawing style, so the female sprites might look a bit different than what you got used to in Inciting Incident. Here is a sneak peak of the current Airi’s design for the sequel :
It would be pretty unfair to give you a progress update without talking a bit about the content of the sequel, especially considering the abrupt and shocking way Inciting Incident ended.
A word about the structure of this sequel first. As some of you might (or might not) know, Inciting Incident is supposed to be a “Common Route”. In Visual Novels, a Common Route is often an introductory segment of the story that presents the universe and the characters until it eventually splits onto various paths called “Routes”. Each Route focuses on a different heroine. Inciting Incident ends right at the conclusion of the Common Route, which means the sequel will split into 4 Routes (one for each heroine), and the choice of that route is determined by the previous choices you’ve made in Inciting Incident. So basically, you can expect the sequel to be 4 distinct parallel stories following Yama and each respective heroine.
As for the content in itself, I won't reveal too much as I’d rather avoid spoilers. The only thing that I’ll say is that the story will resume 3 years after we left Yama at the end of Inciting Incident. That also explains why the new designs for the male and female characters look more mature, they are actually all older than in Inciting Incident.
Finally, at this point it’s very likely there will be a third part to Lucid9, which would correspond to a “True Route”; the final route of the VN which should happen in parallel to the heroine routes once again. The true route should tie everything up from Inciting Incident and the Heroine routes, and answer all the questions that have remained unanswered.
5 - Date of release for Part 2
We haven’t decided on a date yet. I won’t try to give any estimation as it’s very likely that it’ll end up being not respected, so I can only ask you for your patience and for you to wait until we have progressed enough for me to confidently set a release date. But we’ll take as much time as necessary to ensure that the sequel will live up to everyone’s expectations.
6 - Voice Acting for Inciting Incident
I know that voice acting was supposed to be implemented in 2017, and I’m very sorry for the people who are eagerly waiting for this update, but unfortunately, it will have to be postponed indefinitely. There are several reasons for this decision. On the VA side, we have had multiple cast changes and departures due to various reasons, and each time, we've had to scramble to fill in replacements. Furthermore, the work is unpaid, which makes it very difficult for the voice actors to set Lucid9 as a priority.
(At this point, some of you might wonder about crowdfunding, but we stand by our decision against a crowdfunding campaign for various reasons.)
On our side, we’ve been unable to provide the necessary support to the voice acting recording sessions, as we have our hands full with the development of the sequel. As a result, things have been really slow (there’s not even 3 in-game days worth of voice recording done at the moment), and it won’t be done anytime soon. I can only apologize again for this, as it was a feature we had promised, but we’re completely unable to deliver it at the moment. I hope it will not prevent the people planning to wait for the voice acting to play Inciting Incident.
7 - Other Lucid9 related mini-projects
In order to make up for the lack of Lucid9 related content for you all to enjoy while we work on the sequel, I’ve organized with Elphaze a new official “Lucid9 4-Koma” section on the blog where we’ll regularly post funny 4-komas for everyone to read an enjoy. For those who don’t know what 4-komas are, it’s a very short comical story told in the form of a manga page with 4 panels. You can also submit your own 4-koma ideas, and we’ll pick the most interesting / funniest ones to draw from time to time! Here is the first 4-koma made by Elphaze:
What? Are you saying it’s Valentines and usually we share an illustration on that day? Oh wait, talking about Valentines, it seems Yahiko’s overwhelming popularity earned him quite a lot of chocolate…
See you next time!