Thursday, 20 December 2012

Updates (20th December 2012)

A Noble Curse - Roland Stark

Ooh a new character introduction from A Noble Curse! This here is Roland Stark, the head officer of the royal guards and one of the five heroes of Crylite. Our lively trio will encounter him a lot in the manga (though he's not the first of the heroes they meet).

I've been working on A Noble Curse for the past few days. Probably because I bought some manga myself which inspires me again to draw.

Some changes: Our heroes are now called Albert Solaris and Gilbert Solaris (instead of Knight as their surname). Notably my friend pointed out that Gilberts design strongly resembles that of Apollo from Spero: The Forest Dwellers. Not to mention the colour scheme is also red and their hair colour is similar. One will change though XD

This is the last post for the year! From myself here at Azure Tales: I wish you a happy new year and will post up in January!


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Updates (6th December 2012)

Miyu - Redesign
This blogpost was meant to be yesterday but I had an exam today so I held it off! Sorry about that, but we're finally back on progress! University has pretty much ended for the semester so that gives me some free time (Not a lot sadly since I still have work to do over the break)

Above is Miyu's redesign. She now has a ponytail in her hair rather than loose; it suits her better in my opinion since when she goes hunting her hair would get in the way flying around. I've also added a new pattern on her shirt (it's just sewn on) and there's more I want to add but you'll have to wait! Her face is a lot more mature than I intended though, so I'm still working on this which you can tell by the mistake of the waistcoat length ^_^;

I may redesign the signature sword as well at some point but for now this little teaser will have to do! More pictures coming up as the weeks go by, check out our twitter account! I might post some pictures there.

The script and general code for Spero: The Ocean Divers is done (so it's a visual novel... without the visuals). Hopefully a screenshot of the game in progress next January.

I cannot thank you enough for your patience!


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Updates (20th October 2012)

First of all: I missed a blog post on the 5th October, sorry about that!

There's not much news to report except Miyu will be the only character to change a fair bit in the remake of Spero: The Forest Dwellers. This is because she looks exactly the same as two other characters I've designed in previous projects ^_^; The only thing that will change is her hairstyle really.

Secondly there won't be ANY blog updates next month. My studies take priority (since without them I'd never have gotten this far!). There's a lot of coursework and tests in the next month. I'll make more progress during the Christmas holidays.

Again thank you all for your patience!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Updates (20th September 2012)

(No picture today)

This is more of an announcement post than an update one.

Voice Acting
I'm sad to say that Spero will NOT have any voice acting. I've done some thinking and it takes a fair bit of effort (and not to mention quality) that I can't really 'afford' right now. Not only in a monetary sense but a considerable amount of time as well. The plans for voice acting may arise again someday but not for at least another 2 years.

-For VA's who volunteered originally I give a thank you for offering and a sorry that I had to change plans.

There IS plans for music though. My big problem with Spero was a lack of sound. So I'll be trying to compose something in my free time (Even if it's just atmospheric sounds). I don't intend to release Spero: Ocean Divers until there's music composed for that as well.

-Musicians who would like to consider composing pieces please get in touch via our public email. The pieces you compose MUST be original. Again this is VOLUNTARY, so you would be doing this for FREE.

-There will be a contract made and will require signing. (Details to follow in the next update post)

Spero: The Forest Dwellers WILL receive a remake. Mostly on the art side and as mentioned above with added music. I also intend to change the download process into one where you install the game rather than save a zip file. The remake will be released around the same time as Spero: The Ocean Divers.

-Once the new version of Spero: The Forest Dwellers is released it is advised you delete the current version. We apologise for the inconvenience and loss of save data (If applicable)

Just an early warning that the website will be undergoing some maintenance over the next month. Also I viewed the website on my brothers laptop and it appears incorrectly on the Projects page. If any of you have had the same issue then I apologise and will have it fixed soon!

It seems to be an even vote for Miyu, The Boy, Heidi and Wizard. Thanks to the 4 people who voted! Those 4 will be redrawn first as a result~ The next poll will be about purchases. This is an important one for me and your views would be greatly appreciated! Poll will go live tomorrow.

Thanks for reading! I can safely say that both Ocean Divers and A Noble Curse are once again making steady progress! Look forward to some website updates next month!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Updates (5th September 2012)

[Spero: The Ocean Divers - Conrad close-up]

Back in the UK! That means it's time to start the digital drawing of Spero: The Ocean Divers! As you can see I had a bit of practice earlier today of Conrad.

A Noble Curse hasn't made any progress since I last posted but Spero: The Ocean Divers script is now complete! So the next few weeks will be coding and drawing.

Now here's the bad news (Well good in a way) I'll be starting university again soon, meaning I won't have as much free time as I did over the summer holidays (I was expecting to start in October but they pushed the start date earlier this year). And I also have no idea how the translations are going for Spero: The Forest Dwellers.

Voice acting I'm still trying to write up some legal documents and stuff so that's still in progress.

On the bright side look forward to some Ocean Divers screenshots in the coming weeks and character art.


P.S. The poll is finally working! Vote for your favourite Spero: The Forest Dwellers character now!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Updates (20th August 2012)

No picture today sorry! Forward with the news!

A Noble Curse
I'm changing the process that applies to creating this. I'll be writing out the story first and yes... it takes more time. The reason being is that this method allows me to see the story flow better, rather than a flow chart of what I want to happen. With the changes that I made to the original... I'll need to write out how I want the story to flow.

For trivia: I never finished writing any books that I started when I was younger... but I DID draw out what I had written and more. That's where the method originates from! (And that's where I also found out I would be a terrible writer)

Spero: The Ocean Divers
This is still going as planned. I've not started the code work other than the template for the game (in Ren'Py). Using random images instead of what should be there is difficult and confusing so this will have to wait until I'm in the UK.

Speaking of which: By the next update post I'll be back in the UK! My holiday is ending soon (Well, my time overseas anyway).

As for the poll... again that will have to wait until I'm back in the UK. I'm assuming it's something to do with the browser or my netbook messing up.

That's all for today!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Happy 1st anniversary!

Azure Tales' 1st anniversary has come! Wow it really has been a year since I shouted "It'll be Azure Tales!" at the laptop (to my brother over a video call).

It may not seem like we've done much (Having only released a short visual novel) but Azure Tales was built from scratch and has made a lot of progress from being just an ambition in my head. I may still be a one-man team, but I have had plenty of support from my family and friends (and still do!). So a big thanks and cheers to them! If it weren't for you guys, I'd never have had the courage to even think of starting up Azure Tales.

With that I look forward to the future progress of Azure Tales and all my projects. A final thanks to all of YOU as well! Your encouragement and kind words mean a lot and I hope you will continue to enjoy the projects I release.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Updates (5th August 2012)

Spero: The Ocean Divers - Louis and Phoebe concept art
A few things to mention and announce today!

First of all A Noble Curse is on hold. I say that, but what I mean is I'm rewriting it again. But not changing the entire thing... it's going to take a while to work out in short.

Spero: The Ocean Divers however is now taking my full attention (As well as a few collaborations I'm working on... more on that another day). The script is pretty much done first draft wise! Louis is a merman soldier and Phoebe plays as a mermaid guide. Can I just add that Louis is the manliest character I've ever drawn (Besides Gil XD)

Voice actors! This post is mostly directed at you. I won't start holding auditions until I'm back in the UK because I can't really edit them here (Cut them line by line for example). There will be a few things you should take into account:
  • I have little experience in editing anything vocal wise. So I will have to rely on the original quality of the work you send me. If there's too much background noise or static, I can't use it.
  • You will have to sign some kind of Non-Disclosure agreement, as I may need your services again for future works of the same series.
  • With that in mind. The work is VOLUNTARY if you don't think you can manage much along with your actual schedule then I advise you not to apply.
  • I give deadlines. They're usually flexible though, depending on your circumstances. If you repeatedly break them, I will find someone else.
  • You can use a pen-name (But I do recommend you leave me your real name for various reasons including dealing with people who claim to be you)
There's a lot more but that's the basics. I'm not overly fussy on quality since this is voluntary but think about if you play a game and all of a sudden you hear static when one character talks. It's not very good XD

Also we'll be running polls on the blog! Some for fun and some are genuinely for feedback. This time it's for fun. Who is your favourite character in Spero: The Forest Dwellers? I'll draw a picture of the winner (and runners up) for the update after next ;3 You can find the poll at the top right of the blog.

That's all for today!


[Edit] The poll isn't letting me add more than 4 answers for some reason so please wait until another day!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Updates (20th July 2012)

A Noble Curse: Clare Hope

Not much to say this time. A Noble Curse is moving along at a... strange rate XD It's nearly halfway done being storyboarded. There's a picture of Clare's original design above this. Clare is the travelling artist our two main characters meet in chapter 1. She's a kind hearted type, but she doesn't hesitate to shout or complain when things aren't going how she wants (She'll even kick poor Albert a lot).

Spero: The Ocean Divers is progressing well with the script. Even started doing some code work in Ren'Py.

Voice acting still not holding auditions yet. Haven't had time to write up agreements and all that legal stuff T_T but I promise it's coming soon!


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Updates (5th July 2012)

[Spero: The Ocean Divers] - Conrad and Miles concept sketches

Thought I'd show a bit more info on Ocean Divers. Above is the main character and his best friend, Conrad and Miles respectively. Conrad is an impulsive 17 year old, so you'll be in a few situations where he may act rash without your consent XD. Miles on the other hand is the more 'playful' of the two. He may not SEEM to play a huge part in the game but your behaviour towards him might just turn a situation around.

Some names for A Noble Curse as well! The main character is now Albert Knight (Yes, they're finally given surnames in this project!) and the other brother is Gilbert Knight. Both end up being called Al and Gil instead. Our heroine (No photo of her today) is now Clare Hope... which might have been a bad move because I keep typing her name as Clara XD

One more piece of news today: we now have a public e-mail address for you to... well, e-mail us if there's any problems, feedback etc.

We make a point to not keep e-mails longer than needed (usually 30 days at most) so rest assured you can e-mail us and we don't store your e-mail address for very long. It will take a week at most (certain circumstances apply if we aren't available) to respond. We also accept fanart! It's in fact encouraging to see it, who knows... maybe we'll hold a contest! Please be responsible when sending us e-mails (In other words: no malicious behaviour or attitude and certainly no spam... these e-mails will be ignored).

I was going to throw a questionnaire but decided not to. But please do let us know if there's anything about Spero: The Forest Dwellers that you want to say (Screen resolution change, opinions on voice acting etc.). You can comment on any post on the blog (I usually recommend the latest post) as we can see all comments regardless of which post!

That's all for this update!


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Updates (20th June 2012)

[A Noble Curse] - The main characters

So after a bit of debate I decided to do an update post every 5th and 20th of each month. The only exception being when I'm really busy that day so it'll either be postponed or posted a bit earlier.

The cast of A Noble Curse is completely designed now and the chapters are ready to be storyboarded. The first chapter is ready to be drawn out properly! (Shame I won't until I get back to the UK, but planning it all now saves me from having to plan it then find out it's poorly portrayed)

As for Spero, I'm still writing up the script and doing some concept sketches. It also gives me a chance to go outside and snap some references with a camera (If only it were a nice day for me to head out to the beach D: )

So in short:

A Noble Curse
  • Characters drawn and planned
  • Chapter 1 storyboarded
  • Chapter 2 and 3 planned
Spero: The Ocean Divers
  • All the characters have names (Finally)
  • Script is still in progress
  • Some background concepts done
For those asking about Spero: The Forest Dweller updates, I can't work on that unless I'm in the UK. I've got limited time and resources while I'm overseas, so don't expect any updates on it for at least a few months yet! Also if there are any Linux users who can't play the game let me know and I'll upload a version for it (The only reason I haven't done so is because it's untested).

Speaking of Spero: The Forest Dwellers, who would like voice acting included? I'd make an option for you to switch it off of course but I've had a few volunteers for voice acting. Let me know your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Project 2 and 3

It's been 1 week since Spero: The Forest Dwellers launched and I've had some great feedback and support! Thank you all who have enjoyed it so far. I'm sure those who have had a play will have guessed what I'm announcing today, and those who follow us on Twitter (@AzureTales) will have heard a little about Project 3 already.

First I can unveil Project 2 is in fact the next chapter of Spero! Those who got the 'True ending' will have seen a sneaky preview of the location. The next chapter is titled:

Spero: The Ocean Divers

The chapter had already been planned from the start, and I've started the script (Reverse order on what I worked on for SperoFD which started with the art first). I've no release date yet since I'm currently overseas and can't do any final artwork. The visual novel is planned to be longer than SperoFD though (there's a lot of text for this one!). More details on the game will follow once the script hits about 50% done.

Those who follow us on Twitter will know that the Project 3 is a manga series! It spans about 9 chapters (probably about 3 books if it were a physical copy) and a special. The manga will be FREE and available to read online once it's done (I'll release chapters per fortnight probably). I'm considering physical copies late into the future maybe ;P but the title is (subject to change):

A Noble Curse

The manga is set in the kingdom of Crylite, where a cursed beast roams the land and causes tame monsters to go on a rampage across the towns. A pair of merchant siblings, travel to help those who have been hurt and to find a way to rid the cursed beast.

That's it for this announcement! The next blog post will be a quick questionnaire about Spero: The Forest Dwellers. (I'm setting up an e-mail account as well) look forward to some work in progress art and more updates over the next few months.

Also: I won't be available for contact between 9th June 2012 - 14th June 2012 as I'm on a trip with my family.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Spero: The Forest Dwellers is now out!

Yes, it's finally out! I'm so sorry about the delay!
A few things to note: The game is silent. No sound at all... sorry about that. It's planned for a future update. In a sense version 0.0 is the pure base of the game (Version 1 if you prefer), thus it lacks a few things like sound etc. You could say playing this is like beta testing it ^^;

Anyway, feel free to play the game! (Do read the Terms and Conditions first as well as the version notes on the download page!)

The game will probably take less than an hour to complete (It's very short) maybe an hour if you want to go get all the endings.

Very tired, nervous, excited!


P.S. More announcements to come next month ;)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Spero updates!

So sorry it's been so long! I've been caught up in studies but I can finally say that I'm now done for summer holidays! Yes, I said Spero was due in spring, I'm sorry to announce there's a delay until MAY and hopefully no further than that.

The website hasn't had its update either I'm afraid. It CAN be updated but I'm missing some javascript, you'll have to excuse my slow progress!

Anyway, progress now:
Character Sprites: 100%
Backgrounds: 100%
CG's: 90% - just the epilogue ones missing
Script: 50% - I've re-written it from the original after some heavy inspiration
Programming - 30% - can't do much without the script in there!
Music: 0% - I'm just going to use atmospheric sounds, so there's no OST (Sorry!)

I am changing to using Ren'Py instead. I was going to make my own visual novel engine but it's going to take more experience and practice as expected. That could take over a year to work out so that's why I've made the change.

If you haven't seen it there's a silent trailer up on our YouTube account:

Thank you all for your patience! I'm working as much as I can to get this released as soon as possible with the best results~ It's a fun challenge haha!


Monday, 6 February 2012

New logo

If you've been following my Twitter account (@AzureTales) you'll know that the website has a new logo on the banner! (And I opened a youtube account but there's nothing there yet)
The original logo didn't look much like a logo, so I changed it up a bit. Though to be honest I'm not too happy with the text, so there's yet another change I might make :P

As for this 'Big update' I keep talking about... I'm making the project page basically XD Something to look forward to~ oh and updating the About page too

There's possibly another project on it's way. I'm not too sure yet since I need to ask a lot of people if they're free to help. I know a lot of people really want to play Spero but my studies are my priority, so I ask again that you be patient for another few months T_T

On the bright side, I get about 3 months of free time this summer! So I should make more progress then~ (Don't worry I'm still trying to get a Spring release for Spero. It's just going to be Spring/Summer depending on how fast this work goes)

Sprites are all done! Backgrounds are pretty close to finish too.

I leave you with this preview of the main character (now fully coloured! She's in the textbox of the game, hence the circle thing.)

Image will change in the final version by the way. She's missing her sword!!!


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Project 1 - Spero

I'm finally happy to post about our first project! It will be called Spero: The Forest Dwellers. Below is a sketch of the main character in the game =)

As I mentioned in the first post, the project is going to be a visual novel. The game simply requires you to enjoy the story and make choices. Depending on those choices you may achieve one of many endings.

So far progress is as follows:
Character Sprites: The majority are done and will be done by next week
Backgrounds: the first few are done (There's not many ^^'')
Script: Planned but not fully developed

Doesn't seem like much but it is a fair bit! The game is going to be FREE and I'm still working out how to distribute it (the chances are... it will be in a Zip folder). The game is ONLY going to work on Windows (I'm not sure if it will the others but chances are no).

It's a short game but I hope people will enjoy it nonetheless. That's all for now and expect more updates and even screenshots in the coming weeks.