Hi everyone!  Here we are again, with another update on Himeko Sutori.  During September we added new areas to explore, optimized some features that had been hurting game performance, and we added a lot of new NPCs to enrich the towns and the plot.  And we also gave the characters underwear.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of our new maps.

This is our first arena battle map. Here, you can send one lance into battle to train your heroes and earn prizes.

We wanted a little more variation in the desert area, so we built some assets reminiscent of ancient Egyptian architecture.

This pyramid contains some useful crafting stations.

We started building some of the new battle maps this month as a way of making the game run faster.  You can see enemy armies on the world map, and you can count each individual foe in the opposing army.  That’s great, but the desert world map is huge, and we ended up having thousands of enemy troops in memory.  So instead of filling the desert with enemy armies, we decided to add special encounter areas on the world map.  The end result is more opportunities for adventure, but without slowing down the game.

Out in the desert you will find pyramids to explore, each one filled with danger and the promise of riches.

Mummies and skeletons roam the courtyard surrounding this pyramid.

We also added a new cave battle map. These slimes are weaker than the other enemies in the area, allowing some of your newer heroes to gain some low-risk battle experience.

We also spent some time this month adding NPCs to some of the desert settlements, changing those areas from empty sets to living towns.

We try to give each NPC a unique personality.

And this month we also gave our characters underwear.

Unlike virtually all previous sprite-based tactical RPGs, in Himeko Sutori all of your characters’ equipment shows up on them.  That meant that you could send your characters into battle naked if you wanted.  And we had added a little joke of giving each NPC a different reaction if your character is naked.  Our testers had a good time with it and we thought it would be a fun feature to keep.

But this month, when Steam widened its range of acceptable content, it also started getting very strict with how developers mark their games’ content.  When we marked Himeko Sutori as containing nudity–pixellated though it was–our list of related games changed completely.  We decided that in the interest of decorum and sales, we had to cover up our characters when you remove their armor.

Now your characters have underwear.

Characters in saved games from before the change may not have the right underwear sprite.  We had a few instances of slimes wearing bras and panties, but most of those issues have been worked out.  Our testers say that this was a positive change and the development team agrees.

Overall, we can see that we added a lot to Himeko Sutori this month, considering the size of the development team.  Going forward, we are going to try a new approach of building many levels quickly and then adding detail later, instead of delivering one highly polished level at a time.  We think this is going to be the best way to get the game close enough to completion to let a wider audience try it out.  With this new approach, we hope to have a lot more to show you very soon.

Thank you everyone for your interest in Himeko Sutori.  We’ll be back with another update next month.