LoveSick Darlings - Project Update #10

The road to Kickstarter starts here and now!

Hello everyone, and what do we have here? An update that actually came on time for once? It's a miracle!

Well, it's the least I can do for delaying everything by a month. But it's here, the penultimate (second-to-last!) update before the launch of LoveSick Darlings on Steam AND Kickstarter! Let's dive right into it!

Official Announcements:

To follow up directly from last week, I am proud to announce our new sprite artist, Edhelsen! They've done a great job colouring the sprites for LoveSick Darlings so far. You will have seen some of their work on Maisy and Syd for the thumbnail and title image of this post too. I hope you enjoy this new colouring style we're going with! Here's an extra treat too - check out the amazing work they did with fan-favourite, Jayda! And give them a follow, too!

Isn't it gorgeous?

We can of course talk more about art shenanigans in the "art assets" section. I have a few exciting things to share visually! But for now, let's move along...

As I mentioned above, this is the penultimate update before the launch of the LoveSick Darlings Kickstarter! Which, as mentioned in previous updates, will launch alongside the 1.3 demo (which features an extra two days of gameplay!) along with a lot of refinements. There are no more placeholder sprites or backgrounds in 1.3 (like in the current demo available to the public), it has an updated UI, and is going to basically be the "complete" and FINAL demo released before the game launches next year (assuming the Kickstarter is succesful!) The 1.3 demo will launch on itch when the Kickstarter goes live - but that's not all! The final release that will go live alongside the Kickstarter and 1.3 demo will be the official LoveSick Darlings STEAM PAGE! This steam page will also have the exact same 1.3 demo - but perhaps most excitingly, you'll be able to wishlist LoveSick Darlings to know exactly when the full game comes out to the public! Isn't that exciting? I've always wanted to have a game on Steam.

So these are the big three things launching at once later this month. I hope you're all excited to see the pages go live, and to play 1.3 yourself! I've put a lot of work and refinements into 1.3, so I really hope you all give it a shot! Even if you played the old demo! The new art and UI assets can hopefully tempt you back. PLUS: it will remember your saves from the original demo too. So you can start where you left off, or skip ahead to different decisions to see the other paths you can take as Syd! I look forward to hearing what you all think of 1.3, the steam page launch, and of course most importantly: the Kickstarter campaign. Which I also hope you'll support! Let's talk more in-depth about these things further below...

Progress on 1.3 demo, Steam Release, and Kickstarter:

The 1.3 demo has all it's blank spaces, placeholders, and more completely filled in! There are now incredibly few blank backgrounds (except for transitions) and not one single placeholder sprite! We've finally done it. It's kind of a dream come true. Now comes the tedious part: editing the text. This also means finally adding expressions for Stuart, Grace, Nacho, Albert, and Tammy but... I'm just happy they have facial expressions at all! It's a bit of work, but I'm more than up to it.

Steam is pretty much ready to go. I need to upload some fresh screenshots and make a banner, but the game is very much ready to launch on Steam any day now. Once I upload the final build, of course - hahah.

And of course, the most highly anticipated release you're all waiting for: the Kickstarter! The page is pretty much done. Stretch goals are being fine-tuned and having their costs double checked, and I'm waiting on a trailer that's currently in production, but even the price has been decided.

The funding goal is going to be, at most; $8000 AUD (approx $5500 USD). I do not expect this number to go up, but depending on the final verdict from the Australian tax consultant I'm speaking to (check out devlog #9 if you want to find out more about this whole shenanigan) - this number is most likely to go down. I can't make promises, but this should give you all an idea of the scale of the Kickstarter now!

I don't know what people may or may not have been expecting, but even with the overestimated cost of $5500 USD - I believe this is quite a modest Kickstarter! I think it's totally achievable, and that this is an amount that LoveSick Darlings can really rise to. This amount is literally going to directly to everyone I am paying to make assets for the game. This will pay the composer and artists for things like music, more CGs, UI improvements, and then some Kickstarters fees + possible taxes. I will have a final number soon, but expect something in the $5500 USD or lower range. I will also make sure to break this all down a lot more formally on the Kickstarter page itself. I want anyone who supports this project to fully understand where their money is going, and what it is being spent on! Transparency is everything to me. If anyone has any questions or converns about any of this so far, please feel free to message me directly and I will answer any question I can.

I still don't have a launch day for when the Kickstarter and demo will go live. But everything is on track to go up before the month's end. We are well and truly on the road to the launch of the LoveSick Darlings Kickstarter! I hope you all join me on it!

Progress on assets:

I commissioned Awan to actually start work on character profile pictures ahead of time. "Character profile pictures"? You may ask - well, a few updates ago I mentioned the idea of getting a third artist (who became Awan) to do up some "profile pictures" and other "social media photos" for the cast of LoveSick Darlings to use in-game when they communicate in-game via social media. The idea was met with a very positive reception, and has been made an upcoming Kickstarter goal. To test the idea with you guys and the public, I decided to commission the first few profile pictures out-of-pocket. The results so far have been phenomenal - but they're not ready quite yet! Follow along the Twitter and Discord as I post the artwork there over the next few weeks! Maisy's profile picture will be the first thing I post for you all to enjoy ;)

Now, regarding colouring. Many of you will recall colouring was the incident that caused the month's delay for this game - but as you saw above, we are well-and-truly back on track! Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be posting full coloured sprites on Twitter of the LoveSick Darlings cast! Among many things. Including CGs, screenshots, and more information regarding the game. Make sure you keep up with the Twitter on @LoveSickDarling to not miss a single thing!

Lastly, not all art assets come in image form - a nice Kickstarter trailer has been in production for the last little while, and will debut with the Kickstarter! The video artist who will be doing this is the very talented Soraya! I hope you look forward to their trailer when it launches alongside everything else! Chances are, I'll sneak it out to you guys exclusively first. Make sure you're in the official LoveSick Darlings Discord server to get all the inside scoops ;)

Question Corner:

It's just a super brief question this week! It won't take much thinking or decision-making at all. I just wanna know what social media services you guys use to follow the project! I want to make sure I am not leaving any audiences behind with my social media posts :)

Here's the poll:

Thanks for partaking in this quick little poll! I'll post my observations from this poll next update!


And I suppose that's that! Consider this update the "starting bang" of what promises to be a jam-packed next few weeks on Twitter and social media! I am going to post something new or otherwise exciting about the 1.3 launch of LoveSick Darlingst least every second day on Twitter until project launch! So, if you don't already, be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY sure you follow me here @LoveSickDarling on Twitter for all the latest before Kickstarter, the 1.3 demo, and Steam all go live at once! I will also be posting there, and everywhere else I can, when those big three things launch simultaneously.

I hope you all consider supporting the Kickstarter and continued future of this game. Every little bit helps, and I have made some really cool rewards for backers to enjoy when they back LoveSick Darlings. I want to make you all proud backers of this little project! I could never get this far without you all - with just this little bit more, I know I can make this game a reality.

Thank you all for following me on this journey so far. Let's see what this new horizon holds for us and the future of LoveSick Darlings. I, for one, truly believe the future of this game will be a vast and beautiful horizon. I hope you all join me to see this horizon and make it possible when I launch the Kickstarter later this month.

If you like, feel free to join the official LoveSick Darling Community Discord by clicking this link here!

Word on the street is, that a preview of the 1.3 demo MIGHT just show up on the discord before anywhere else...

Thanks everyone for coming and reading yet another devlog! I love you all.

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As always, thanks for the love !