It took us two years to create Lucid9: Inciting Incident. During those years of development, we've faced a lot of challenges. English Visual Novels are a small niche, so there aren't many online guides that teach you the process of VN creation. A lot of what you'd learn is through other developers, and even then, you don't get the full picture of what it's like to work with other people from different parts of the world. Organization, deadlines, communication... there are so many things that need to run smoothly for a project to work. It takes effort - and a lot of it.
Since the beginning, we've always wanted to keep Lucid9 free, but that lack of monetary compensation, strangely enough, forced us to set the bar higher for ourselves. Sure, even if people were to hate Lucid9, we would at least have some experience under our belt for future projects. But knowing that you had spent all those years working on a passion project that was poorly received would still sting, frankly speaking.
That's something that'd we'd likely continue fretting over until the completion of the Lucid9. No matter what the reception is though, I'm glad that I got to meet so many amazing people along the way. That's something I won't ever regret.
We've been making decent progress with the next part of Lucid9, though a lot of us had to deal with tighter schedules than usual. Luckily, we still managed to make time to get things done, so it hasn't been super detrimental.
The artists have been working on a number of things lately, though coloring and style consistency have been at the top of their list of priorities. The screenshot above should show how that's progressing. Other than that, we're planning to have at least two or three outfits for each character. They'll be designed in a way that best reflects their personality or situation, and we're aiming for a style that isn't too "ornate", but nevertheless displays some uniqueness.
Concerning the backgrounds, the metropolitan setting of Isamu will have more significance compared to what was done in Inciting Incident, so we wanted to experiment with structure and aesthetics of the city for the next part. Eufonie posted a few "unofficial drafts" on Trello to help him get a sense of how he should go about designing it.
Voice acting for Inciting Incident has been progressing, albeit slowly. There's a number of people involved in the process — voice actors, composers, and programmers, among many others — so it takes some time to get done. The voice actors record their lines all in one take under the direction of John, who then uploads the files to the Drive so they can be split into individual lines. Afterwards, they're brought to Breezee for mixing, and once they're mixed, Ian implements them into the engine.
This is just an oversimplification, but hopefully it explains a bit about the process for those of you who are unfamiliar with it. As mentioned previously, the voice acting patch has unfortunately been delayed. Judging by the progress now, John is aiming to have all of the recordings for Inciting Incident done by mid 2018.
On a brighter note, John had shared a hilarious clip with me a while back, so I thought it'd be nice to post it here.
Breezee and I recently talked to Ian, our programmer, about the implementation of a dynamic soundtrack that flows with the script. He had assured us that it is definitely possible to do on the engine, so we're commencing with that plan in confidence. We're still attempting to schedule a discussion with the rest of the composers to fill them in on the direction. That should happen some time soon, once their availability opens up.
Also, thank you to everyone who filled out our Lucid9 soundtrack questionnaire. It gave us a better sense of what the readers found enjoyable, and we're planning on integrating some of your suggestions. There will be a number of new tracks for the next part of Lucid9, and old tracks would likely be reworked in some way to fit the style and tone of the narrative. Breezee has already created a few drafts. Below, you can hear a teaser for one of them:
Writing has been progressing, though we are a bit behind schedule. Our goal was to have all of arc 1 drafted by this month, but that would need to be delayed by a few months or so unfortunately. I don't want to give a specific estimation quite yet.
Nevertheless, the writers are at about 16,000 words in with the exception of Misaki's and Akira's route, with the latter at around 54,000 words (and already on arc 2). So yeah, some of us are further along than others in terms of progress. Of course, we're monitoring each other's writing closely, so we all should be on the same page despite that difference. A big thanks to our editors for helping us along the way as well.
In other news, the official soundtrack of Lucid9 is now available on Steam! The tracks are available in both MP3 and WAV formats, and you can download it here. It only took us about two thousand years, but we appreciate your patience for the delay. A huge thank you to Raithfyre and the people over at Sekai Project for helping us spread the word.
That's all the news for now. We can't thank you all enough for sticking with us these past few years; it really has been an amazing journey. We hope you're looking forward to the next part of Lucid9!
In the meantime, look out for Milica's editorial on AMVs coming out in May, as well as our readers' Top Picks for Anime Tropes following this post!
Until next time!
~ Fallen Snow Studios