Monthly ADS news for July!
Hello, this news update will be different than I had anticipated. I will follow with a more detailed one in June about my plans to address some of the communication issues and a break down of how Echoes will work (this update will also go straight to backers since it will contain vitally important information).
I will be as straightforward as I can.
TTEOTS IOS release
It's very frustrating, but the iOS release of Chapter 04 was rejected. There was one big bug with Four's POV and Apple is requiring some additional menu functionality. It's something the programmer is working on. When I have the fixes, I'll make sure to submit immediately. When it's approved, it will release immediately for premium and updates will be posted to social media a little after. For releases, they will always be updated on social media within 24 hours.
Mystic Destinies: Echoes
Sometimes, we used to joke and called this a cursed game because there were so many delays. I told everyone that it was my hope that I could get it out this April and May, but that won't be possible. Many people seem to take the dates I share I'm aiming for as a guarantee, and become disappointed when I miss my mark.
That's understandable, so as of now I have decided not to give anymore future release dates for Mystic Destinies: Echoes until it is completed. I'll still have my internal dates, but I don't want to confuse people or over promise by accident any longer. I understand people are already angry about the delays, and this will probably make people angrier, but there are also those that have asked that I not give dates if I can't guarantee them. I used to give specific dates, and then I went to seasons as a compromise, but now I think I'll give this method a try for Echoes.
I can only do what I can do, and even I have to accept that I am human.
When I made the promises I initially did, we had three other people, and a very different company altogether. With me remaining now, as just one person, I am working hard to meet the promises that were made with a much bigger staff. But obviously, it will take much longer. The facts remain the same: development on the game took too long, there were too many delays, and what was left afterwards, I couldn't use most of. I can't change the past, or how people feel, but I can change the future.
Some take me stating the facts to mean that I'm looking for sympathy or trying to play the victim. I have no need for either. The facts are simply the reasons behind why things happened, and why it's taking so long to correct them. Put succinctly, we messed up, most of the staff had left at some point for various reasons, and I'm the only one here left trying to fulfill the promises.
Putting pressure on me, repetitively asking questions, won't get the game out faster, or change our past mistakes. It does, however, make me stronger so I do thank those who want me to fail for giving me an opportunity to grow and improve. It takes pressure makes a diamond, and I'm sure any future releases won't be plagued by these problems.
However, at this point I've got to be straightforward and simply say once again: 1) Mystic Destinies: Echoes will release whenever I'm finished with the game. 2) Then I will address backer rewards and any remaining questions.
It's taking forever, but I've made up my mind to finish it, regardless of how impatient people feel. So far, since working alone, I've managed to release an Echoes demo, and to release the delayed release of TTEOTS from last September, so next on my check list is completing Echoes.
I've had some personal difficulties with life lately. Health, someone precious to me falling ill, unexpected things happening with and to other people I work with that caused further delays no one could help. I understand now that life is chaotic, and it's best to just work around it.
I want to model a healthy artist work-life balance while fulfilling the obligations ADS made in the past. I realized that I can't make up for two years of development in a few months, so I'm just resolving to work well until it's done. Whether the people who are interested in Echoes wait patiently, or vent in anger everyday at me for the situations that have occured in the past, or yell at me for the situations they assume are occurring while I'm quietly working is up to them.
Your choice is valid for you. I have no right to tell anyone how to live.
I don't have time to engage with people extensively right now, and if people desire, they may view that as ignoring or running away.
It's not. It's an active choice to put my energy elsewhere, towards fulfilling my obligations, in the order I said I would. If I have a little bit of time, I do try to reply where I can to some of you, but in some cases questions may be going unanswered for months. I think that's unacceptable, but there's nothing I can do about it until Echoes is out of the way. And as I've said, I'm making big changes to make sure this kind of situation doesn't happen again in the future.
But I understand the narrative people make in their head becomes their reality. For some people, anything I say that doesn't fit that narrative will be invalid for them, otherwise it would create cognitive dissonance. They even go so far as to make assumptions and jump to conclusions to fill any gaps. Psychology has always been a big interest of mine, and I try to always understand others, so I try to understand even those who criticize me.
I think that understanding is a huge requirement towards loving others, and in my stories I try to help demonstrate many situations where people are misunderstood, or things are not as they seem, so that people may come to understand others better. And so, I have come to understand that some people will never be able to see my words, understand them and believe them in the way I intend. Their truth is one they will defend with their whole being.
I accept that. And I prefer indisputable actions to words, myself. But I digress.
I will continue to communicate updates here, nonetheless, though, and major, tangible updates relating to Echoes itself will be posted in the relevant campaigns. (Some people have shared they really hate getting updates that are just “the game is still delayed”, so I try to be considerate of their inbox and only provide new and relevant information).
I'm not asking for patience, sympathy, or understanding, or for people not to yell at me, or complain or judge me or criticize me. I am surely not perfect, and I won't live up to any perfect image anyone had of me or my work in their mind. Only you can decide how you want to live your life everyday. I prefer to live with love rather than hate.
I just wanted to communicate clearly what the situation regarding my work is right now, and share a bit of how I think. I'll continue working regardless of the circumstances, or how long it takes, and I'll be sending another update in June.
Wishing you understanding, love and light,
End of Budgetary Hiatus?! There are some big changes going on this month! I am expecting the end of the budgetary hiatus this month, which means we’re looking at two big releases upcoming: what I am currently calling Mystic Destinies: Echoes: Part 1, for Kickstarter backers, and To the Edge of the Sky: Chapter 04, and Four’s POV story for everyone…
A complete past list of works of ADS' members. Does not include freelancers.
First off, I want to announce that we have added a store component and Eight’s new design into the next update of #TTEOTS. Think of it as a small in between update with bug fixes, the store and new art. It may not yet be available for your platform yet, as we’ve started pushing it in phases.
Furthermore, I am announcing that we will be delaying all games further, from now on. It was a difficult decision. Delaying doesn't mean we aren't working, but it does mean we'll need longer to complete things. We are known for fast releases and good quality content. That comes at a price. Everything does. Our health has suffered, especially mine. I cut sleep for so many years that I forgot I didn't have permanent dark circles. I decided I wanted to change my life and put my health and personal life in balance with my work life. The takeaway is:
I am going to slow down ADS game development to allow us to focus on other things, like just being a healthy, happy human and spending time with our loved ones.
I am going to continue To the Edge of Sky indefinitely now.
We are going to take the necessary time to complete and finish Echoes. Many delays came up with that team, and I cannot predict a release date fully beyond before the end of this year. But the project is about 80% finished.
We are still going to fulfill all our rewards obligations. The plan is to do so by the end of this year so we can start the new year fresh.
The obligations we've made to our fans and the fans who have supported us weighs heavily on our minds. That is why we have been tirelessly working throughout the years, nonstop. For survival, but also to fulfill those obligations to the fans. I understood that my personal life should not slow down or affect the work I do. But unfortunately I am only human, and stress does take its toll.
I want to keep creating, but I know we need to do it in a different way. It is thanks to you all that I think we can finally slow down a bit. We've been spending the money we got by putting it right back into development. This has been such a draining way to live, and it's difficult to get to a comfortable stable place as a company. I want to change all of that. I know that true fans won't want us to be unhappy and unhealthy.
I need to focus on getting things to a more stable place in order to be able to create works from a better place. But it will take some time to see the fruits of these labors. It was because of Echoes push backs that were often due to illness, family death, travel, etc, that I realized that we can't continue on like this forever. Life happens. It gets in the way of art and creating. Without placing blame, I can say it also puts stress on me trying to make people do more than they mentally or physically can within time frames.
We need more time for life to happen to us. We deserve to live outside of our games as well, and to live healthily. So I want to create a better work-life balance for all of those who work with us. And there is a solo creative project I’m excited to start for myself as I continue TTEOTS indefinitely. The benefit of this decision, is that I’m able to work on more than one project now.
You who love our work and who support us with understanding. You who let us be ourselves. You who support our health, well-being and happiness. You who make our characters and games feel so loved...
Thank you 💙
Ajané J.K. Celestin
Please find the updated release schedule below.
NOTE: All dates and information is subject to change without notice. Development schedule shown is released only as a courtesy estimates, not a binding agreement. If you have any questions about anything, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
END OF SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
To the Edge of the Sky
Through Their Eyes: Four release
To the Edge of the Sky
Chapter 04 release
Mystic Destinies Series
Mystic Destinies: Echoes release?
Mystic Destinies crowdfunding campaign rewards begin releasing
Rewards fulfillment for Mystic Destinies campaigns continues
Digital rewards fulfillment for To the Edge of the Sky campaigns begins
To the Edge of the Sky
Chapter 05 release
Mystic Destinies Series
Mystic Destinies: Echoes release?
Rewards fulfillment continues