ESH #36: Soon…?

It’s been a month since the last blog post, so it’s about time for a status update. The development progress of Eleanor’s Handmaid has been pretty good: the game will have 5 or 6 endings (out of 7) by the end of this month. I think that it’s safe to say by now that it will be complete sometime in April. After that, the preparations for the release (grammar/spell check, review by Valve, possible new trailer, etc.) will naturally take some time as well, but hopefully no longer than 2 weeks.

By the way, the total length of the game would seem to settle somewhere between 80k and 90k words. To put it in perspective, it will be slightly shorter than Succubus Research Diary version 1.5, but considerably longer than version 1.0 of the same game.

Finally, a couple of screenshots because why not?

Sometimes, but definitely not too often.
Just how often do these people bathe? Every day…? Preposterous!

ESH #35: Actually, it’s 7

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Eleanor’s Handmaid will have seven endings instead of six. The bad news is that the seventh ending inevitably requires development time as well. Oh no! But let’s have another piece of good news to soften the blow: I just finished making all the event CGs (including the one for the seventh ending)! That means that the game’s graphics are 100% complete now! Probably! All it needs now is a bunch of words and maybe a little bit of programming. And a bit of this and that to boot.

Now, although I have some kind of plan for each of the remaining endings, I can’t say for sure how long it takes to write (and possibly rewrite) them. My optimistic estimate is that it’ll take a month or so. However, considering my optimistic estimates so far, it’s probably best not to bet a lot of money on it.

ESH #34: The magic number is 6

After some much consideration, I decided that Eleanor’s Handmaid will have six endings. The bare minimum would have been five, but that would have left an interesting coupling unexplored. On the other hand, the number of endings could have easily been greater due to the variety of choices the player makes on the way. Still, I opted for covering the less impactful choices by making some of the endings slightly different based on the exact route the player has taken.

I’m currently working to finish up the ending-related event CGs. Four of the six endings have their graphics ready, the remaining two are still in the planning phase. In a couple of weeks or so, the game will be ready graphics-wise. After that, it’s just writing the endings that I have more or less planned out. That is, unless I get a new idea about something that just has to be implemented (wouldn’t be the first time…)

ESH #33: Ending(s) on the horizon

It’s about time for a little status update. I may or may not have slacked off last week (because of, you know, the holiday season), but the overall development progress of Eleanor’s Handmaid isn’t looking too bad. I think that the game will have an ending by the end of January. Probably even two! But… *ahem*… it will take a while longer to make all the 5 or 6 endings for the game. I’m glad that no one remembers anymore that I said something about the game possibly being ready for release in late January because it won’t. Still, the game isn’t missing much else than the endings now, so there’s definitely hope that it’s not going to take much longer.

By the way, although Nerisha (the main heroine of Succubus Research Diary) is a supporting character this time, she will have a… kind of ending dedicated to her. The screenshot below is not completely unrelated. Something that involves putting on or maybe taking off clothes could be about to happen…

I must say that I like Nerisha’s “mildly surprised” expression very much.

ESH #32: Makai Wiki: Goddess of Light

If you have played any of the previous Arcus Plume games, you may already be familiar with Makai Wiki, the arcane repository of knowledge located somewhere in the mysterious realm of Makai. Basically any sufficiently skilled mage can edit the Makai Wiki articles, which is why they may be biased or contain inaccuracies or even outright false information. Even so, it’s better to know something than nothing at all, is it not?

The following Makai Wiki article will appear in Eleanor’s Handmaid. It’s a piece of background lore, hardly a spoiler, but I hid it behind the “Read more” button in any case. Click the button… if you dare.

Read more

Theia Goldeyes, also known as the Goddess of Light, is one of the Four Goddesses who created the vast extradimensional space known as Makai. She is the ruler of the Realm of Light in Makai as well as the leader of the Covenant of Light, a massive religious organization devoted to the Sun and herself.

Theia Goldeyes was originally a human mage hailing from the desert queendom of Edrina. Thanks to her tremendous talent and single-minded devotion to magic, she became the Grand Sorceress of Edrina at the young age of 37. Being one of the first mages to succeed in prolonging her lifespan indefinitely, she served the royal family for many generations while using all her spare time to study magic. She was 172 years old when the then monarch of the country, Queen Neilyope VII, tried to displace her–with an assassination attempt. However, the would-be goddess was already so powerful at the time that she barely had to lift a finger to fend off the attackers. But she could not let such an insult go unpunished. She marched to the palace, incapacitating a small army of royal guards on her way, and gave her ultimatum to the queen and the rest of the royal family: they would publicly swear allegiance to her or face death. Theia Goldeyes became the queen of Edrina and the entire former ruling family her consorts.

During her long reign as the monarch of Edrina, Theia Goldeyes became acquainted with three mages–later to be known as the Dragon Queen, the Lady of Night, and the Mistress of Souls–who had similarly become nigh immortal as well as achieved a deep understanding of the weave of magic. Over the centuries, the four great mages met regularly and devised a spell to create an entirely new realm of existence: Makai. A realm where space could be manipulated freely. A realm that would allow near-instantaneous travel between any two locations hosting a magical device called a portal. When the preparations were finally complete, the four mages connected their minds and began casting the Grand Spell that would create Makai. Decades later, when the spell was finally complete and introduced to the rest of the world, the four individuals capable of such a feat were widely considered to have ascended to godhood. The Four Goddesses were born.

Some historians claim that the signs of the upcoming conflict were evident before the casting of the Grand Spell had even begun. By the beginning of the Great Abyss War, it had certainly become evident to the entire world that the Four Goddesses were not exactly of the same mind about who controls Makai and how. The long and dramatic war started off as a battle royal and culminated in the final battle between the Union of the Three Goddesses and the Mistress of Souls, where the unstable soul-fueled battle constructs of the Mistress coalesced into the Amalgamation of Souls that nearly caused the collapse of the entire Makai. The goddesses haven’t openly waged war with each other ever since, resulting in a centuries-long period of relative peace.

In the contemporary era, the Goddess of Light rarely leaves her grand palace in the Realm of Light, preferring to act through her followers–sometimes quite literally, by using a possession spell. The Divine Mother, as she is often called by the members of the Covenant of Light, has thousands of descendants, many of whom are very powerful in their own right and hold positions of importance in the Covenant. Although the Goddess of Light still commands one of the most powerful armies in the world, she discourages her followers from using violence unless strictly necessary. She favors love and sex as means to influence people, her white-and-gold-clad priestesses trained to make use of both.