Devlog#22 New Demo Coming Soon!

Here comes the development update that you’ve been waiting for. We know it has been a while since we posted anything here, we do apologize for the delay! We’re full speed working on the game and the upcoming brand new demo, so let’s start the update with this exciting news!

New Demo coming soon!

Since the release of the Kickstarter backer early bird alpha test, we’ve received a lot of very positive and valuable feedback. We were then able to improve our build based on this valuable insight.

In order to reveal a little more about the world of LUNA, we've decided that before the official launch, we will present a brand new demo, featuring two new levels with four new locations. We hope this will give our players a good peek into the LUNA world. Also, this time, you will be able to fully experience our dual character control feature!

So stay in touch and sign up to our NEWSLETTER here to be among the first to click the link and gain access!

Also.. New Trailer coming soon !

trailer WIP

With more new footage to play around with, we’re now not only able to update our full-length trailer but also to make a different one focusing on gameplay! It is also high-time for us to work on the marketing side. With the professional help of both our Publisher and Marketing Consultant, we'd like to come up with the best phrase for LUNA to stand out from the crowd.

What's your favourite element in LUNA and what will be the part that most excites you? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Game production progress

Now, let’s see what has been achieved on the remaining game production work.

During the past few months, we finally reached our 3rd milestone!
Now ALL the cinematic animations are completed with music!

Along with the progression of the story, players will be presented with 6 visually stunning wordless cinematics, adding up to a total of 20+ min long 2D hand-drawn animations to experience! This is something we truly believe to be special about LUNA, it is not easy to complete such a quantity of cinematics with just one artist and one music composer, but we did it! Moreover, the team had been working on this game for a long time, even though when we first watched the full animation, we all still can’t help but felt deeply touched by the stories of these two beloved characters in LUNA. We sincerely hope that we can share this warm feeling with you in the final game.

Final polish and auxiliary system optimization

Now, as we are reaching the end of the production, it’s time to focus on the final touches within the limited time available to reach as closely to the to the perfect standard we hope to achieve.

We’ve been also working on stuff like level load times, progress saving, menu and interface etc., improving the recognition level of all the interface button/icons. We’ve been testing all these system-related features, hoping these basic functions do not interfere with, but aid players’ in-game experience.

Meanwhile, sound design is still in process. It's halfway through and goes hand-in-hand with music optimization. We want to make sure that all the animation, SFX and music work in a harmonious way. Therefore we strongly suggest playing the demo (and the final game) with your best audio system or headphones!

Last but not least, we‘ve started the most crucial step before the game’s release: debugging! The progress is painful but necessary. Sometimes we do find some amazing and funny bugs, but even though we love them very much, we’ll make sure you'll never bump into these bad boys!

Some bug collections. The Tai-Chi Boy and Teleport beast!

Some bug collections. The Tai-Chi Boy and Teleport beast!

When the build comes to a stable stage, we will most likely to have a limited number of keys for the public beta testing. If you’d like to be part of this, we will send out the beta sign up via our NEWSLETTER, please subscribe!

Game Exhibitions

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After last month’s trip back from GDC in San Francisco, we will be at the London EGX Rezzed 2019 at the Tobacco Dock from 4th- 6th in April! Come and see us, chat with the devs and play the LUNA EGX exclusive Demo! You can also purchase LUNA posters/postcards directly on that day and maybe ask Betty to draw you something :)

In the near future we are also going to Fusion G -Core exhibition in China on May 2019, and Gamescom in Germany later in the year!

We know we’ve said this countless times, but still now when the game is so, so close to being delivered, we look back on our first post. It really feels like an incredible journey. We are aiming to complete the sound FX and major debugging within the 2nd quarter, preparing the soundtrack and artbook material we promised our backers and complete the Steam page related jobs (achievement design etc). We should be able to update more frequently  at this point, as the heaviest production work will be close to the end. We will be more actively involved in our Steam community discussion, social media events and much more!

Follow us on all our social media account below!

Thank you all for being so patient and supportive, it's getting very exciting! Let us know us your crazy ideas to tell more people about LUNA; shouting "LUNA" in the neighbourhood 10 times a day? Hiring a celebrity cat on Instagram to hold our advertisement? Contacting NASA to spread the word in the skies? We’d love to be inspired!

Until next time, peace out!

Devlog#21 Hello 2019!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season, relaxed and well fed, and now fully boosted to welcome wonderful adventures in the brand new 2019! We can’t believe time passes so quickly - this year will be one of the most important for LUNA, because we are aiming complete production and deliver our final release!

Game production and level gameplay optimization

Right now, these pieces of work are all going ahead together. While Betty works on the last few bits of animation and UI design, Susie is beginning the musical composition for our cutscenes. Fox and Guan, meanwhile, are full on with coding and optimization. Aside from all this, we are also continuing to work on our own real-time gameplay tests for LUNA, before moving towards external QA. In a nutshell, we will play the completed 25-level game ourselves from beginning to end countless times, to ensure it is smooth and well balanced.

Gameplay testing is vitally important. Over the past few months of initial proofing, we received a great deal of important pieces of feedback. As a result, we rearranged some of the levels to make sure that the puzzle order is nicely structured. Our original design might have looked good to our eyes, but at the end of day your enjoyment of LUNA is the most important aim for us. Third-party viewpoints are incredibly valuable!

Some screenshot from the cutscenes animations

Some screenshot from the cutscenes animations

Susie’s working progress for one of the animation cutscenes

Susie’s working progress for one of the animation cutscenes

Player friendly hint and guide

We have thought a lot about how to apply a hint system in LUNA. Different games do this in various ways, so there is really no golden rule here. We don’t wanna take away the challenge and fun for puzzle lovers, but at the same time, we have to consider what will happen if players actually do get stuck.

The trend nowadays for many games is to rely on a step by step guide, which some say is helpful for players to understand quickly, but in our opinion, sometimes it dulls the experience of the game itself. LUNA’s fundamental core is point and click gameplay. The player explores their environment with the cursor. Above all, we really need to make sure when player focuses on an interactive area, they receive clear feedback that points towards the result, a direction or a solution. One of the key reasons we all love indie games is the freedom to break away from standard game industry design rules - if rules make our game less fun, why should we follow it.

In response to this, we’ve improved some of the mouse functionality and the appearance of interactive objects, so that the player doesn’t feel like they are just hunting for pixels! We’ve also designed a new loading UI/system to help people find their location inside the game better.

The improved cursor designs (arrow/hand/feet) for a clearer interactive experience in the game.

The improved cursor designs (arrow/hand/feet) for a clearer interactive experience in the game.

New loading screen, also serve the purpose as an in-game map, level selection page.

New loading screen, also serve the purpose as an in-game map, level selection page.

Colorblind friendly optimization

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In testing, we learned a very important lesson when we realized that one of our levels might appear to be particularly difficult for colorblind players or those with similar visual impairments. During the past few weeks, we redesigned some parts of the offending level to allow all players to see it clearly.

We also wrote a devlog about it, explaining what is the method we used to solve the problem. We’re now testing this level again with players who might have found it confusing before. If you’d like to volunteer to help with this, please contact us - it will be very much appreciated!

Next few weeks plan

Professional QA will be invited to help us debug, meanwhile we are working on ways to size down LUNA for final distribution. Last but not least, visual effects will help create an even better atmosphere for the game. How can magic be magic without pretty particle effects! *Lumos Maxima!*

By end of January, we’re aiming to finish all the cinematics and in-game animations. So the third milestone will hopefully soon be reached.

A new demo will be released soon in the first Quarter of the year, available for everyone to play. We will also be sending out a second round beta test after the debug is complete.

So that’s all for this update, LUNA will be waiting for everyone very soon in 2019! See you guys very soon with more news!

Devlog#19 October Update

With the leaves slowing turning to yellow, we thought it was about time to give you guys another update on LUNA! Can’t believe these two months have flown by like an arrow. We’re heading closer and closer towards our production deadline. The past few weeks have been intensely busy for us (as usual) so let’s see what we have accomplished so far.

The walking System Optimization

We’ve been focused on optimizing the walking and interaction system recently and have upgraded it to a better, smoother one with some improved new animation sets.

Instead of doing it the most common way, by moving a flat character walking animation between two spots, which usually might appear like sliding/floating on the floor while moving, we have built our walking system with a more realistic, handcraft look.

We added more frames between the idle post and the walking cycle to give it a nice transition. With the variation of 8 different set of walking animations, our character is now able to stop on a very specific spot to interact with an object, each step firmly on the ground without sliding when walking.

This has been one of the most challenging things we've worked on since the beginning of LUNA. It is time-consuming and quite difficult to do. During all this time we couldn’t help thinking, "no wonder most developers choose not to do their walking system in this way!". This is the kind of challenge that makes us really grow and learn from the journey, and it is one of the the few precious moments of pride in indie gaming, knowing we stuck to our unique approach and it worked!  Together with our characters’ cell animation and the 2d draw backgrounds, the world of LUNA now feels both magical and also has the tangible feeling we hoped to achieve.

We wrote a dev log about this issue, if you’re interested in the details you can read it here from our website.

Cinematic Production

Knowing the storytelling will largely rely on the cinematics, we’ve been working on the story for a long time before finalizing our storyboard. Even so, there're still many details, the motion design of each scene that needs to be done along with the animation.

Background - draft animation - line drawing - clean up - coloring. This was and still is the ONLY way for traditional 2D animation nowadays. The magic button I am ever longing for to automatically create the in-between frames still waits to be invented. Until then, keep calm and keep animating.

We have in total about 15-20 min footage of hand-drawn animation in LUNA. Now we've done half of it, basically, 5-10 sec per day is our aim. Our plan is still to finish all the animation before the end of this year. It is a very tight schedule but we intend to keep up the pace! We’re really excited about it and can’t wait to have them all in the game as a whole.

Here is some sneak-peek footage of the animation we’ve done so far.


Music and sound Fx

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Two thirds of the levels now have music. We have to tell you, the music adds so much more emotion immediately felt when you play the game. It makes a huge difference.

Instead of each room having an individual background track, our music composer Wang Qian took a broader approach. Each character/chapter has its own melody, each with a distinctive emotional tune. By changing the instruments, key, or tempo, we apply subtle variations that blend nicely with each level or cinematic music track. So the overall album of the soundtrack of LUNA will sound more like one big complete work.

It’s not always a straightforward production process on the music side. Music is such an abstract form of art that within the team we had many differences along the way, sometimes even arguments! But the final result you’ll hear in LUNA is the best that came out of us. (some clips of LUNA’s new music below)

Adventure X and Weplay 2018

As some of you might know already, we will be attending this year’s Adventure X  in London on Nov 9-10th, the game show will be held in one of my favourite place in London, the British Library! If you already bought the tickets please do come around and say hi, ask us questions or just chat around! For those who can’t be there in person, please follow our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, we will have the live updates during that weekend to make sure to share our moment with you all!


Players will also be able to try out LUNA at Weplay 2018 in Shanghai on Nov 3-4th. Some of team members in China might be there to great you too!


Next few weeks plan:

From now till the end of this year we will be aiming to complete 90% of the animation ( if everything goes super smooth we might even finish all of them, fingers cross), then complete ¾ of the music and soundtrack. Meanwhile, we will continue to have industry internal gameplay testing and debugging. We’re also about to start preparing the marking job and publishing / legal business.

We're also thinking to update a new free demo for everyone on the website by the end of the year, we’d announce it in all our social platforms when it’s ready. We’ll soon be back with more news!