Devlog #11 - Another Status Update

Devlog #11 - Another Status Update

Hey everyone,
it's been a few weeks since our last status update so we're back with a summary of where things are standing.

As you probably noticed, we weren't able to finish //TODO: today in September.

Because it's already much later than we originally anticipated and there are people who have been waiting for literally half a year already, I'll go into more detail as to why there is another delay and what exactly went wrong.

As absurd as it sounds, the biggest fault of our management so far turned out to be our focus on deadlines.
We focused more on when the game was supposed to be finished instead of how much time we really need to finish it.

There are valid reasons for that but I'll come back to those a bit later.

In a way this mentality started in March during NaNoRenO. At that time it made sense because it's a game jam and the whole point is to make a game in a set time-frame. Our original goal was to finish the full game in this one month. Of course we underestimated the workload and towards the end we realized that releasing the first half was all we could manage. And even that wasn't quite complete until September.

The next problem was that there was a "break" from April until August where we could barely work on //TODO: today because we had to focus on University related projects.

There was a whole other issue of trying to get back to //TODO: today without taking much of a break but we already touched on that a bit in one of our earlier status updates.

(Thematically there's not much of a connection but look at this pretty graph from our management tool! )

PECTIN: lol. and there was Teach Me Onegai!~ Because we thought, like, damn, we need some sweet revitalising yaoi rn! So we planned to spend our weekend from the 29th to the 30th July but crunched through the 31st and then realized we needed a week instead of a weekend. (ノ゚▽゚)ノ We kind of, just died then. But when the sun rose on the 6th of August and we wrapped up the game after working through the night, we felt incredibly grateful for life's simple pleasures. Like, properly eating and sleeping. Felix directly took a train to his family in a daze and I crawled to ma bae's apartment in dire need of  a pat on the head and sleep. ...Good times....(*「・ω・)ン PECTIN over and out!

The last few weeks of September were tough. We bounced back and forth between overworking ourselves and losing motivation because of the stress. That was because the deadline that we set ourselves was October 1st.

That obviously didn't work but in a way failing to meet the deadline made things easier for us.

The reason why we wanted to finish //TODO: today before October was because it marked the start of a new semester. Our final semester at university to be specific. We wanted to be able to completely focus on that but here we are now...

In the end it's not as much of a problem as we feared. Pectin and I are actually working on our thesis project together which makes scheduling a lot easier. The project we'll be working on is also going to be the second big Boys Laugh + game and while we already started planning it a few months back, most of October will still be spent with pre-production.

Managing two projects at once will be a challenge but we scheduled things in a way that doesn't significantly increase our workload.

We split the week into three days on which we'll be working on this new Project and three days that we'll use to work on //TODO: today. We made a new plan, this time not by choosing a date where everything needs to be finished, but by calculating how much time each of our tasks will most likely need.

Development will be slowed down if we only have half a week to work on //TODO: today but this is the only way for us to continue working without postponing it until February when we are done with university.

Ultimately we think this solution will lead to the best quality even if it will take a bit longer.

We don't want to lose the fun of working on this game because when it comes down to it, we started the project without any goals other than "We want to make a visual novel".

Given what still needs to be done, it wouldn't have been humanly possible to finish the game in September. And even if it had been, the quality wouldn't be anywhere near what we'd be happy with.

We are sorry that we have to push the release of the second half back even further, but we hope you understand.

Of course we'll keep posting these devlogs as we keep working on //TODO: today. And once production starts on the new project we'll also post about that, because we're pretty excited about this concept we're developing.

It's unfortunate that //TODO: today's development was plagued by delays and interruptions up until now and despite our reasons most of this mis-scheduling was our fault but we hope the end product will make up for it.

We're really thankful that there are people who are invested in our game and we'll keep you up to date as we work towards finishing it!

Now to finish things off, here is how far along we currently are:

In terms of writing, we're about 86% done. There are four and a half in-game days that still need to be written, which translates to roughly 10 scenes. This excludes editing, so even when that number reaches 100% there is still some work to do.

As for art, it mostly comes down to new backgrounds, ending CGs, banners, and some additional artworks. In numbers, there's about 70% done at the time.

The soundtrack still needs some work and then there are also things like marketing or testing that we can't completely forget about either.

Due to our new schedule we have an estimate on when we might be done with all of this but even if it is more realistic than our previous ones, we won't say anything too specific until we are certain. It will definitely be this year, but the way things are progressing right now we will probably spend at least all of October working on it.

As always, thank you for reading these devlogs and being interested in our game!

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Take your time, do what you need to do. You guys really deserve it. 

Thank you for being so understanding! We really appreciate it <3

Take your time! I've been following TODO for a couple months and I have no problem waiting longer :) I know the final product will be incredible. Thank you again for all your hard work! Wishing you the best of luck with university and your games.

Thank you! I'm happy that you don't mind waiting a bit longer.  We'll try to make the game as good as we can! 
And thanks for the good luck <3

I discovered TODO: Today several months ago and I went into it with low expectations, because I'm  picky about games and rarely get invested in visual novels enough to stick around if they aren't  completed. But honestly, I have to say... I loved it. 

As someone who struggles with pretty bad social anxiety and depression, Teal is super relatable. I instantly felt a connection to them. The ability to choose your pronouns (including a "they/them" option!), romantic/sexual orientation and appearance is something I haven't seen in a lot of other games, and having that representation is wonderful. 

The art is 10/10. All the characters are so well designed and unique, the art style is clean, the colours are gorgeous... I'm in love ;v;

That cliffhanger ending legit made me cry a bit, and I can't wait to see how the story continues! 

All the time and effort you're putting into the game really shows! It's my new favourite. Thanks for giving us an update, and take all the time you need. Wishing you both the best of luck with university and your thesis!! 

Thank you for the kind words! It's great to hear that you ended up liking the game despite going in with low expectations!

And I'm happy that Teal is relatable. Protagonists are usually more outgoing so in the beginning it was a bit of a struggle to balance this out with how we wanted Teal to be, but I'm glad that we stuck with Teal's character like it is now.

We try to be transparent with the development and I'm really grateful for how understanding everyone has been so far.
And thanks for the good luck, we appreciate it <3

I played TODO: Today earlier this year, and I loved it! I understand that making games is very time-consuming, and even though you could have had a finished version I'm very glad that you're keeping the goal you had from the start. I really appreciate all of the hard work you're putting into the game! I wish you the best with everything!

I think it would be nice to get to choose whether Teal had the masculine or feminine appearance with the "he/him" and "she/her" pronouns, like how you can choose with the "they/them" pronouns. Sorry if it was patched in, it's been a while since I played.

Keep up with the great work! I'm excited to see the finished game!

Thank you (both for the kind words and for being so understanding)! We're really happy you enjoyed our game <3 
When we started the project we didn't expect such a positive response but comments like yours have become one of the main reasons why we want to make sure that the full game is as good as we can make it. So even if it will still take a bit longer we hope you'll enjoy the second half as well!

And thanks for the suggestion! We talked about it and decided to implement this option. Most of the functionality is already there so we will probably release an update soon that includes this feature!

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Hey guys! I just wanted to say, your work is awesome (//TODO:today's probably one of my fav VNs ever, right up the top of my list with some big name VNs!). Thank you so much for all your hard work and especially sharing the dev updates with everyone, even though you don't have to!

I just wanted to say... if you're going on your final semester, I think it's totally understandable (and in fact, I encourage it) that you pause work on TODO and focus on your thesis project. You only really get one shot at uni, and I don't think any fan could be mad at a couple of students pausing dev work to do their freakin' thesis! :O

So yeah. Of course it's your choice, but.. I just thought you might appreciate a little cheer from this quiet follower. Please take it easy guys, you're doing great <3

(edit: also, I always wanted to let you know.. thank you so much for including an option for bisexuality! I was really happy when that happened, it's so rare to have it taken into consideration especially in VNs.. so thank you thank you!! ;v; )

Thank you so much! We're really happy that you like our game so much and we definitely appreciate the cheer <3

And thanks for your concern! Pausing development would probably be the sensible thing to do but at the same time I think we'd have a hard time fully focusing on our thesis project, knowing that //TODO: today still needs to be finished. If production starts and we're still not finished with TODO we might consider pausing it but as long as we're still planning the new project it's actually a nice change of pace to work on something else every now and then.

Also it's always great to hear that the options we put in the game are appreciated! Making the game inclusive has been important to us from the very beginning so we're really happy whenever we see a comment like this <3