November was a rough month due to illness and other complications, but we kept working at Himeko Sutori and we are very pleased to present you with the latest screenshots and updates.

We spent most of the month finishing the last few major regions, with a few required towns, buildings, and rooms.  These are the final regions that will take us to the end of the game.  They are finished and accessible in the game.  Next we need to populate these areas with vendors, townsfolk, enemies, and battle maps.

Last month, we left our heroes in the Icy Reach. This month we added building interiors to the city.  Here is the throne room of the Icy Reach.

The library at the Icy Reach will contain information critical to your quest.

When you have finished exploring the Icy Reach, head through the world gate.

When you emerge from the world gate, you find yourself somewhere in the Shadowlands again.

The Shadowlands are more dangerous than ever.

At Utakawa Outpost, you can return to Yamatai lands, where old alliances will be broken and new alliances forged.

The city of Utakawa lies on the other side of the world gate.  Getting these new Japanese-style buildings ready for the game took no small amount of time.

Many new adventures await in the Yamatai Islands.

Not shown here are the many smaller buildings we added this month, and the actual final regions of the game:  the Northern Shores, Candle and Sword Keep, and the Crypt of the Weeping God.  Those areas are almost done, but not quite ready to show as of the end of November.

This month we also continued testing and fixing the game.  When our players reported bugs on our Steam discussions page, we responded within a few hours and uploaded a fix within 24 hours.

The game isn’t quite ready for release yet, but we are close enough to the end that we feel confident being able to tell you our timeline.  We hope to have all of the regions fully playable by the end of January when we will begin selling the game as an Early Access title on Steam.

Due to some missed milestones early on in development, we had to redistribute our soundtrack budget instead of holding onto it and losing much of it to taxes.  We hope to use proceeds from Early Access sales to pay for more original compositions to use in the game and to share with our Kickstarter Digital Deluxe backers, to whom we still owe a download of our original score.

We also hope to use Early Access proceeds to help finish sprite sheets for the highest-tier weapons, plus several new enemy types.  Pixel art is time-consuming, and it is a necessary element of the game that could be contracted out.  Nathaniel has been spending a lot of time on pixel art for the last two years, but with some additional money to hire more pixel artists, Nathaniel can focus on other tasks and we can finish the game faster.

We plan on keeping the game in Early Access until the game is fully playable start to finish; in a world populated with interesting characters; with new weapons, armor, enemies, and crafting recipes to be found in each area you explore; with a moving original score; with a solid plot expounded through cutscenes; and with all Kickstarter backer cameos inserted into the game.  That’s too much to finish by the end of January.  But the game has come along far enough that we should be able to get it presentable by then.  And with some Early Access sales we hope we can finish the game faster and deliver Himeko Sutori version 1.0 sometime in 2019.

So that’s our plan.  Thank you everyone for your continuing support for Himeko Sutori.  We will be back with more news next month.