I've gone beyond the concept stage (though there's still a lot of that left to do) and actually started on the actual game part of Soulmate! Well, I mean, I'm just reusing Taming Dreams' engine, so most of the work was already done, but still. Progress!
I'm developing it with the intention of releasing on Steam this time rather than just mobiles, so this screenshot is of how it looks on my 1920x1080 monitor. The pixels look a bit big, but I personally like that, so I hope other people will too.
I'm reusing some of Taming Dreams' assets at the moment until I make proper new ones. These things take time! Oneira's model - which still needs a lot of work - took thrice as long as I predicted.
The most notable thing about this screenshot is the riveting and totally-a-part-of-the-final-script conversation, or rather its format, which resembles text messages. I can't imagine this is the first game to handle dialogue this way, though I've never played another that did. It's breaking from the traditional way in which dialogue is displayed in RPGs, but I think that's a good thing. I'd never sent or received a text in my life until about a year ago, so there's a sense of novel excitement about it for me that I tried to tap into here. I can't imagine other people more used to texting will get the same feelings from it, but perhaps it'll be pleasantly familiar or something? I don't know. I got the impression that Homestuck was so popular partly because its dialogue took a form that was directly relatable to people's real lives. Also, this format has the benefit of allowing you to read previous messages in case you skip one or you just want to check back to an earlier thing someone said. The message bubbles will be coloured according to the character, of course.
I've planned out all the tasks I'll need to do to finish the game and added them to my task list on this site, so the progress bar on the blog page - which has been hilariously inaccurate for months (it said my current project was 'MARDEK Episode 3' or something) - will now update as I work on this. I imagine that my current estimates are ridiculously optimistic and that it'll take much longer, but I'm going to try my best to work as fast as I can. And of course I'll keep posting updates here!
I do understand that people would rather I worked on MARDEK 4 or something... That this project probably isn't appealing to others as it is to me. But I'm hoping that once it gets going, people might find it more interesting than they expect, or it'll draw the attention of people who it might naturally appeal to. It's where my passion is at the moment, though, and working on it could help me with some real-world issues that have been getting to me a lot recently (taming my own negative thoughts, basically).
So yes. Progress. Good. Also, it's 2am; my work hours aren't sensible at all.