Devlog #29 - Closing in on the //TODO: today Release

Hi there!

Development for the second half of //TODO: today is nearing its end but there are still plenty of tasks ahead of us.
We are pretty certain now that the release will be within the first two September weeks but this is as specific as we can be right now.
Of course we'll announce a more exact date once we know that we will be able to finish everything by then, so stay tuned!

Since this is the final stretch of production, most of our work is pretty deep in spoiler territory. We could show you a fancy new background or talk about the part of the story we recently rewrote, but... you'll probably enjoy it more if you see those in-game.

We also started work on the special edition zine, which now has a basic layout that just needs to be filled with content!
Some of the last few music tracks have also been produced, so the soundtrack is almost content complete now.

Speaking of content, last year we probably already mentioned a few details about what exactly you can expect from part two, but since it's been so long we wanted to bring this up again.

In terms of in-game days, part one is a bit longer than half of the game. In terms of word count, it's roughly at 40k words.
The full game is currently at about 70k words.
We are still in the process of writing the epilogues (a total of three with two minor variations each) and making a few more revisions to the last in-game days, which will add a couple thousand words to this total.

Overall we're estimating that we will end up somewhere between 72k and 76k words for the full game.
That means that part two is a bit shorter, just looking at the word count. But word count alone has little to do with the actual in-game experience.

//TODO: today doesn't have traditional branches because no matter what choices you make, you still end up at the next in-game day.
Consequences of choices usually take the form of variations within each in-game day. Especially after some pretty significant story moments in part two, there are some drastic variations to how each day can play out. So depending on the choices you made in your playthrough, your experience with the second half will most likely be at least somewhat different from someone else's playthrough.
In some cases that means that there is less content you get to see, in some it means that the mood will be different. But we tried to make sure that all the choices have meaningful consequences so that each playthrough feels consistent with the story it tells.

So in essence, there will be three endings with a few variations each, depending on what happened in your playthrough.
Romance with either Joyce or Phoenix is possible but not required, so you won't just be forced into an ending whether you want to or not. Of course your choices still decide which endings are possible in any given playthrough.

Well and that's about it for the content of part 2.

Paper Work

As we've mentioned the last time; there's a bunch of paperwork we have to attend to right now. We spent hours reading into a lot of laws and regulations just to fill out very basic papers you have to submit in Germany. It would be a huge relieve to have an accountant at this point but we just don't have the means to afford one.

For example what we learned is that inside the EU, since 2015, when someone buys, let's say, a game, then the buyer needs to pay taxes right? Right. But what kind of taxes? The buyer needs to pay the taxes that are applied in their home country on the product. So technically we would need to calculate the prices for customers of each country inside the EU, according to the tax they pay, but fortunately adds these taxes automatically onto the price.

We still need to document and report this though and due to BL+ being registered and located in Germany and the product we sell (software, including updates)  there's a simplified tax declaration we can use - the "Mini-One-Stop-Shop" or "MOSS". Isn't the name just adorable? x3

Also we've finally written a contract between us that states who owns how much of the business, what contracts both of us can sign, what happens when we go our seperate ways and how things are handled in case someone dies... :I Papers really make you think about stuff you didn't even assume.

Huff. We won't go into further details here because we're in no way qualified to give legal advice. But, yeah. There's a lot to learn and do and this takes chunks of our production time. But it feels good to understand more of the world and sometimes see how funny laws can be (no sarcasm here!).

Social Media Accounts

Some of you might have found us on different platforms than already. We're very active on twitter and since one lazy night Pectin has made an Instagram account as well. If you're interested in updates and live content you can follow us on them. To make it interesting for you we've divided the content on our social media accounts. Here's a break down!:

1. -
On we answer to your comments and post devlogs. Our devlogs are like official diary entries of Boys Laugh + and also have advice and tutorials sometimes. Most importantly our devlogs include release dates and information on the games we're currently working on.

2. Twitter - @boyslaughplus
We use twitter to share our devlogs and make announcements here as well. This includes important release dates. The special thing about our Twitter account is that we'll tweet everytime something goes wrong too, like delays in releases and devlogs. We also post #screenshotsaturday's and other pics of our work and work life there too from time to time.

3. Instagram -
Our Instagram is mostly curated by Pectin. And he decided that the BL+ Instagram account shall be the younger teenage sibling of our Twitter account. Priority on our Instagram is to post pictures and insights into our games that do not appear on Twitter (we're talking memes, very random insights into our work life, more random insight into our games, and WIP stuff). These might appear on Twitter much later in collective posts though.

4. Our Paperboy Newsletter
If all of this is too much for you, you can sign up to our newsletters. We have two kinds:
- The CORE newsletter, which only sends you a mail every time we release a game and important company or project related announcements.
- The FAN newsletter, which sends you the CORE mails, plus: a mail every time we got a new devlog online, maybe sales notifications and other fun stuff like raffles and whatever we come up with. :3

Well, well, well. That's it for today! We planned to include a video with this devlog. Just something fun that might be helpful or entertaining but we didn't have the time to shoot one. We'll post the video on our Twitter when it's done (tomorrow?? owo).

Have nice day everyone! And thank you for reading! <33

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im only maybe half an hour into the game but i can tell im gonna be a huge fan. the MC is so close to my life situation its startling, the art design is pleasing to look at and the music is an utter jam. frankly this is exactly the type of game regarding its atmosphere that i had in mind when i first thought of making my own last year. its still in its baby shoes since im focusing on life, but i feel really inspired to make it now! frankly im shocked that i havent heard about your game at all until i found it by pure chance. 

i know this is a lot to ask and like, no expectations, but have you thought about expanding your accounts to tumblr? i dont frequent twitter or instagram, but id love to share posts about your game! if not, would it be alright if i made a post about your game? sorry if im coming on too strong, im just feeling so taken by TODO. but no hard feelings if its a No to both.

have a good week!

Aaah so sorry for the late reply. We discussed your comment after reading your post. :O
So here's what we concluded: We totally understand you're suggestion comes from. And we'd love to be on as many media channels as possible, but right now we just don't have time for tumblr. ;___;
We'd need to plan out what we post on tumblr to make it worthwhile to follow. Especially now that we're in a high production phase and Pectin's just getting used to the BL+ Instagram account, setting up tumblr and writing appropriate posts for it just isn't in our time budget rn. We thought that it'd be sensible to make a BL+ tumblr account in the future tho! So thank you for the push :3

And oh gee we're glad you found us and //TODO: today!
We wish you much of success with your project in the future and hope you'll have fun during the process as well! uwu