If you're checking my dev blog out for the first time, this blog is about my journey while creating the The Girl Who Knew Time, a game I wrote and currently developing! You can check it out here in the Google Play Store.
❓If you're having issues with getting Episode 01 working, click here.
👋🏻🥰✨Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!!
...To the release of Episode 01!! WOOO!!
Finally, after so many months of back-breaking work(yes sitting on the computer all day long when you're an old fart like me hurts sometimes. I've probably done like a million stretches each day)...🥺Episode 01 has been released!!
Episode 01 Release Features
Experience a Gorgeous Interactive Love Story.
I poured my heart into this game, making sure the narrative, art, scene, every moment is important and memorable! It's more than a typical Otome game—A story much deeper than it looks at first glance.
Romance, Thriller, Comedy, and a bit of Spice(although, not everything's so nice 😋😘).
- 📚 12,818 words(In just the first Episode!).
- 😇🤷🏻♀️😈 7 Possible Endings(Entire Game).
- 👍👎 Multi-choice options that affect the story.
- 😱🥺 Unexpected twists and turns in every scene.
- 🎮 About 3-5 hours of interactive gameplay(Episode 01 only + reversing time and making different choices adds more time).
- 🔄⏳ Reverse time to set things right, save Catherine's friends, and ultimately save her world! Can you help them survive?
- 🤩💬 5 Fully Animated Main Characters—enjoy meaningful conversations.
- 🎥🍿 Characters with many poses + multi-shot scenes so it feels less like a visual novel and more like a movie!
- ✨😍 50 Backgrounds—Hand-drawn, colored, prepared with love and care(not including the animated backgrounds) by me and my lovely artist team.
- 💡🧐 Mini-games and important moments determine if the main character(Catherine) and her friends live or die.
🧚🏻♂️Everything You Do, Every Choice You Make—Truly Matters in this game.
Careful now! The Girl Who Knew Time includes choices affecting characters both in the short-term, as well as choices with long-term ripple consequences that may come back to haunt you later in the story!
Choices affect: character relationships, unlock new paths(some lead to possible death), determine whether Catherine and her friends survive, as well as if Catherine will become good or evil.
🧚🏻♂️Don't Like Where Your Choices Led you? Reverse Time and Change the Story!
Shape the story how you want.
Introducing the Time Warp System!
Once you've completed the Episode, you'll have the chance to visit the Time Warp Menu! Here you can either choose an episode(once there is more available) or a Scene in the episode you just completed to try again!
Play a scene again, see where a different choice leads! Maybe you'll unlock a new conversation, new information, possibly even a new path?
Note: Episode 02 release will include the ability to Time Warp any time(not only at the end of an Episode).
🧚🏻♂️Intriguing Character Development—Watch Characters React to Your Choices.
Choose how you want to reply or what to say to the main characters and watch them react to you in an expressive earned way! Your choices shape how each character feels about you, some with long-term repercussions.
Each character has dozens of emotions and body reactions! A lot of work was put into making them super interactive and fun to chat with!
Included are adorable animated emojis with their reactions!
🧚🏻♂️Conversations are in Real-Time
Conversations—whether romantic, deep, or silly are in real-time! Meaning choices are timed! Every time the main character asks you a question you have a few seconds to reply, like in a real conversation!
Be Aware! Some choices are more urgent and you'll have even less time to react, so please choose wisely!
🧚🏻♂️Colorful Cinematic Music Tracks
Experience an interactive choice experience like no other with vivid cinematic tracks that bring the story to life! I took a lot of time to find, edit, and include music tracks that you'll absolutely love!
Another plus is the main theme song has been changed! I've decided to use this song in particular because I feel the words really match(exactly actually, like no coincidence) what Catherine is going through as she's stuck in between Time loops.
You can hear a part of it when the game's assets are being loaded from the cloud when the intro clip plays on every game start, and at the end of the episode. Hope you're as delighted by the tracks as I am, hehe ^_^
🧚🏻♂️New Achievement System
Every time you unlock a new Badge/Mystery Achievement, you're unlocking either new information, new questions in the story, and possibly new paths(some lead to death).
My intention for this feature is to show all possible paths/info/questions that can be gained throughout an episode. If there is something still unlocked, that means there is a part of the Episode that you haven't experienced yet!
Note: This feature is saved no matter if you live or die, so it's always saved but only at the end of a scene(or death). This feature is still in BETA since I am adding achievements as I create each Episode but also because I haven't fully tested it(it's about 80% tested). I plan to test everything once all Episodes are complete since some Mysteries can only be solved in later Episodes.
🧚🏻♂️Mini-Game: Can You Earn Catherine's Trust?
Every choice made in the Prologue and at the Wedding Party will effect how Catherine reacts to you and ultimately—if she will trust you. You must pass this part to continue playing the rest of the episode!
HINT: Choices you make within the conversation will also help earn some brownie points with her! I've given you a few more options to pass—but it all depends on you!
🧚🏻♂️Adorable Tutorials With Professor Catherine!
A few parts of the game need guidance from your own personal adorbs version of Chibi-Catherine! Hehe. Hope you enjoy her cute blinks and poses 🥰.
🧚🏻♂️Lovely Chibi Scene Loaders!!
When scenes are loading you'll now get to see charming chibi versions of each main character there with you every moment! Enjoy *~
🧚🏻♂️Initial Asset Loader Has Been Improved!
- Added parts of the theme song
- All background characters are animated
- New BG behind animated characters
- Some players were receiving a complicated error message when they had a weak/no internet connection, I've improved that by showing a simple popup with a clear call-to-action message.
🧚🏻♂️Change Your Screen Resolution and Avoid Lag During Gameplay
This was really a last-minute feature. I noticed some devices lagged when the resolution was set-in-stone/bad frame rate as it would be too high for their device. So I created a menu to allow players to choose from low to high resolution.
What would I recommend? Try Original(resolution already set on your device) and see if you get a terrible lag. If it's all good and smooth then it's better to play in your native resolution! If you're getting lag, simple restart the app and the Screen Resolution menu will pop up again. This time choose Medium, see if that looks better! Otherwise, play around and see.
Most people will be fine with Original, but I wanted to give options for players who really wanted to play the game and are having Screen Resolution/image stretch/lag issues.
Since this was a last-minute feature, with Episode 02 release, you'll be able to choose Screen Resolution once and then within the pause menu change it if you need it. For now it will just pop-up when you open the app fresh.
Note for Unity devs reading this—yes I know Unity has a canvas scalar etc. but when I created a lot of the code and set up my cameras, at that point I didn't know any Unity and currently it's a lot more complicated to add it this without messing up how other parts of my code was setup. I've already improved so many parts of my code and this requires a much bigger overhaul than it sounds so I decided to just go for the menu options for now, plus it was fun to make and learn more about. Definitely have kept flexibility on things like this on my mind with further development though.
🧚🏻♂️Game Now Checks if you Have Enough Storage Space Before Downloading Assets
This was a first for me but a great learning experience. I learned that this is very different from the temporary ram memory a game needs while playing the game. This is in fact is the space a game needs to be able to download in the first place, as well as when you are downloading an update. The assets downloaded need space on your device. The game now checks your device before downloading if you have enough space. If not, it will request you to make some space.
Before users were complaining of issues with the loader loading forever, well it turns out one of the issues is they didn't have enough storage space.
🧚🏻♂️Game Will Only Save if You Have A Stable Internet Connection!
If you're having a low/no internet connection, the game now checks to make sure. If so, you try again until it works, otherwise, the game won't save. I'm pretty sure Google Play is using something like Service Workers to deal with delaying sending data over the internet but I implemented this just to be 100% on avoiding any bugs with a poor internet connection and corrupt save data.
Before users were complaining of issues with the loader loading forever, well it turns out one of the issues was they couldn't connect to Google Play(what I use for saving game data) because their internet connection was weak.
🧚🏻♂️Game Will Only Load If You Can Log Into Google Play
To reduce costs of fetching assets from cloud storage I’ve made sure that players are logged into Google Play before they load the game. The game needs you to have a Google Play Account since your saved data will be sent on the cloud through Google Play.
🧚🏻♂️Plans For Adding Different Languages
Until all Episodes are released I will not be adding more languages, I only have so many hands. I'm planning on completing all the episodes first(5 episodes), then start working on languages, and lastly add to different platforms.
So for now I've added a UI at the start of the game that shows currently available languages. Later when more languages are available, I'll be adding options to switch the language in the pause menu.
🧚🏻♂️Name Input Screen Was Redesigned
- Check out the Before / After, hehe!
- I might allow players to change their name in the Pause Menu later.
🧚🏻♂️Adorable Review Screen
A cute screen asking players to review will now pop up once you've completed the Episode successfully! Please be sure to review the game in the Google Play Store if you enjoyed playing it! I would really appreciate it and I'd love to hear your thoughts...Thank youuu!
🧚🏻♂️Full Game Currently On Discount for $0.99 (80% FULL PRICE)
Episode 2 has been added so now you can purchase it early—but I would suggest purchasing the Full Game at a HUGE 80% DISCOUNT because currently, it’s the same price. Once Episode 02 is released, I will be increasing the price— a bit with each episode release until all episodes are complete.
Don’t miss this chance to catch the early bird discount! It will increase very soon!
That's about it for Episode 01, so what's next?
- Creating a Dev Progress article for Episode 02
- I've organized about 230 posts/things/etc. worth of content to share on social media that I need to start creating. I'll try to make as much as possible before starting Episode 02 and then after that dedicate a day a week working on marketing.
- Starting work on Episode 02
For anyone who has played the older version of the game(when it was just the Prologue) and having some issues: Please follow these steps to get it working!
If you have a 2GB device: If a player has a device that holds only 2GB of memory max, they will get a warning that they won't be able to play the game smoothly without terrible lag and other issues. This is temporary because I did not have time to test the game on 2GB devices. I may allow devices with 2GB memory to play once Episode 02 is released. I'm hoping to release Episode 02 at the end of the month or the beginning of August, so I will test it then. For now, I would appreciate your patience, thank you!