MAY 2023

Between mid April and today I’ve been very busy figuring out some game design solutions for C3R and also focusing on nailing down some mechanics. Big shout out to Nico who’s on the project for programming and design feedback and encourages me to take the more unhinged route when planning out gameflows.

First–Barrett’s route:

Originally this was a bit of a tough one because compared to the first two story routes, Barrett was missing a bit of flair gameplay-wise. Making a good old 2D parallax sidescrolling game with character dialogue has been done a lot, so I was really looking to make it something more special than that.

Something that I immediately noticed was missing (and Nico and I share the same brain so we both agreed on this right away) is that there’s no concept of time. Barrett’s deal is that she’s chasing after a train, she shoots at it, then goes into the next town to talk to NPCs. There was no sense of pressure or urgency to this, which deflated the gameplay a bit–so the next solution was to add a timer and add more pressure on the player to make meaningful choices.

So from: following a train -> shooting at it -> going into the next town

It’s now: go into a town -> there’s a timer on screen telling you when the train will arrive -> NPCs will talk to you and you will have the option to continue talking or eject yourself from the conversation -> if you do not eject yourself in time, you will not be able to follow the train and you’ll have to go to the next town and try again (there will be limited tries) -> AT THE SAME TIME, you do have to speak to specific NPCs to get important story context as well as gameplay context to get the True Ending.

To quote Nico, this is going to be as toxic as possible to the player and forces them to balance between the action and dialogue, and will take a few tries to achieve this. I started making some real ugly prototyping of this but it’s coming together!

On to Sepsis

Meanwhile, I worked on making a few mockups of Sepsis’ route, which is also a tricky one due to being very abstract.

Some major changes:

  • No more free movement. All player movement is static grid-based movement to give it more of a dungeon crawler feel as well as to give the impression that it’s a “camera” and that the environment is a projection generated by the mech’s camera
  • Also added a sky view–it’s more of a secondary view to give players different views of the terrain to help them find points of interest, but triggering the puzzles will be done through the main view.
  • Puzzles are separate from the scene. Adding puzzles directly into the environment was just too tricky and annoying to deal with. Instead, players will have to find specific points of interest where they can load into a puzzle scene
  • Additionally, the camera has a radar UI that approximates points of interest, and a blue reticle will appear when the player is in the right position and rotation to activate the puzzle scene


Since Rebel is the more narrative-heavy route, I didn’t do much here outside of fine-tuning parts of the script, but more progress on that most likely closer to June/July.

I’ve also been slowly updating some of the art, like Sepsis’ UI, and will probably do the same for other routes as I go through them. The priority for the rest of the month will be to build out the levels for Sepsis’ route, then create the individual puzzles.

Once that’s done, Barrett’s route will have levels built out using the new system, etc! No solid demo date yet, still tentatively aiming for later in the summer. I do feel this past month has been a major breakthrough since some of the design aspects were really blocking me from thinking clearly. Nothing like sitting down and coding for 5 hours to figure out what feels good.

Til next month!

APRIL 2023

A bit of a slower month between March and now because I took all of April off from my dayjob to, for the mostpart, relax while working on game stuff in between.

I’ve been going back to the narrative script to polish up BARRETT’s route and add more writing in, so now the word count has gone from just over 10k to 13.5k. Not that I’m aiming for a specific word count, but if I can hit about 15k I’ll be pretty satisfied, especially since it’s already the longest thing I’ve ever written in general.

On the art side of things, I haven’t been doing anything too extensive but I’ve started to test some of the newer backgrounds in the game build to make sure they scale correctly:

So far so good! The character sprites will also be updated a bit just to match with the lighting of each background (and Rebel’s sprite will be updated to better match their updated colors).

At the same time I’ve started chipping away at some storyboards for the closing cutscenes, though I’m not in an immediate rush to get this too finalized yet. I’ll probably wait until the demo is fully built out to continue working on this:

Here are the remaining milestones for the month!

  • Finalize BARRETT’s script
  • Start remaining UI/art revisions
  • Re-visit demo release schedule (probably closer to June than May)

Until then, see you next month!


MARCH 2023

From end of February to early March it was a bit quieter since I was on vacation, but here are some things I’ve been working on.

First off, I was able to finish revamping all remaining backgrounds for Rebel’s route! This means the bulk of art tasks are done, and the next step will be to go through some of the UI elements and see what can be updated (like character profile art).



The biggest change with this one was definitely in going from night to day to adjust when the scenes in this area actually take place, as well as changing the perspective a bit.



I made more of a close reference here to the wetlands in Paraguay, as well as switching up the palette a bit so it’s a bit easier to tell that it’s early morning/dawn.



Again, switched up the palette a bit after closely referencing some images of the Paraguayan chaco, as well as making it more detailed and easier to see.

On the game design side of things…

I’m still exploring and studying some games, in particular for Sepsis’ route which involves puzzle elements to see how they can be made more interesting and intuitive. Last time I mentioned studying Myst, but recently I remembered GNOG exists, which is definitely a more laid-back style that I’m hoping to go with. The puzzles in Sepsis’ route are meant to be intuitive in the sense that the player should be able to solve it by using “common sense” or hints within the puzzle itself. Obviously easier said than done but it’s definitely going to be fun to figure out.

The focus for the rest of March and into April will be to do more revisions to the narrative script and fill out some more areas of dialogue.

Thanks for reading and more updates to come next month!



For most of January I continued working away at more background revamps. Similar to last month’s dev blog, I shared some in progress images, though for the following backgrounds I want to show a bit of a before and after first:

BEFORE (River jungle)


BEFORE (Graveyard at night)


For the first background I did a similar style of blocking where I grabbed some reference images and drew some shapes in to make the environment a bit more interesting. Definitely loved working on the waterfall for this one and getting that water spray effect just right:

In the graveyard background, I changed some things quite dramatically to make it a bit darker. My main point of reference were photos of the Paraguayan Chaco at night where certain roads can really look pitch black.

I didn’t make use of as many images in the background itself like the others, but doing this initial color blocking felt quite nice.

I’ve also started working on revamping the next background which is where the fox-wolf mech is situated. The main thing here is that the time of day changed narratively, so you actually access it in the middle of the day vs at night (which is also why I wanted the mech to be more visible in the previous graveyard background).

On other development notes…

I’ve been doing a bit more gameplay research for the mech route, which up until now has been a weird blend of dungeon crawler and first person exploration game. It’s been tough trying to figure out how to re-approach it since I definitely don’t want it to be a “mech simulator”. I mostly watched videos on YouTube and searched games on itch to see what people have been cooking up, until I finally realized I was basically (and accidentally) recreating Myst. Which is very funny to me, because I still haven’t gotten around to playing it! Regardless, I’ve found some other examples as well (like Legend of Etad and Shining Darkness) which make use of some interesting camera/dungeon crawler mechanics.

With backgrounds being closed to wrapped up, the next thing I’m going to be focusing on will be re-doing some of the UI and character profile art for the game, and also start sketching out some more cutscene art. Lots of stuff going on visually.

See ya next month!



This will be more of a routine update than anything else (with some bonus art updates). I took the holidays off and am only easing back into C3R stuff this week.

With the narrative script being wrapped up to be revised, I’m now switching gears to get some more art assets done, the bulk which will be re-doing some existing assets to polish them up.

First up in the revision queue are some of the backgrounds I made for Rebel’s route. I don’t totally hate the old ones, but because the art style changed a bit I want to make sure everything is fairly cohesive. It won’t be too much of a dramatic upgrade but it will also help to get everything drawn with the same palettes/brushes (I switched to Clip Studio Paint halfway through making some of this art).

Thought it would be neat how I go about blocking out backgrounds. I don’t always do it this way but since Rebel’s BGs very heavily reference some Paraguayan rural backdrops it’ll be very helpful.

Hmm, maybe it will be a bit more dramatic than what I initially thought.

Still have some finishing touches left to go but this is generally how I plan to revamp some of the older backgrounds and rely more on references to make them more interesting. Excited to see how this goes and I’ll be sharing more of those backgrounds next month!