The year is about to end, and before that happens, I'd like to throw in a quick update regarding four specific things:

1st.- Early Gameplay Preview

On December 12th and 13th, I showcased a little tech. demo of Spirit Huntress at RetroSevilla, a retro-gaming expo taking place at Seville, my hometown.

My friend Esciron (@esciron) recorded and edited some excerpts of such demo, and I decided to upload them as a little preview-trailer for public viewing:

Please, note that this is early footage of a game still in deep development. Therefore, you'll be able to find a lot of errors, such as inconsistencies in the animations, seams in some backgrounds, general emptyness...

Also, I removed the combat sections to save that footage for a full fledged trailer coming really soon (January).

Consider this video some kind of teaser-trailer.

2nd.- Game website

I created a website for the game. Not much more to say about that, except: check it out here

The site has a subscription form you can fill in case you wish to be directly notified when the Kickstarter campaing begins.

It only features two screenshots and a brief description so far, as well as link to all the social-media related stuff (twitter, devblogs, youtube & twitch channels, Steam page, etc), but I'll keep adding content in it.

3.- Voice acting announcements

As I stated in previous posts, Hibari will be voiced by  by Sydney P. (@Sydsnap) and by Laura Peña (@Laura_PG_) in the spanish localization.

That being said, I'm glad to announce that Lei will be voiced by the very talented Caitlin Myers (@MOM0KI).

Welcome to the team, Momoki!

4.- Steam Greenlight Concept Site 

Finally, I created a Steam Greenlight Concept page for Spirit Huntress that you can visit here.

Note it's not a propper Greenlight Page, for this is only a concept page for a game project.

Still, your vote would be really useful to help create a fanbase for the game, so please, consider upvoting and sharing with your friends.

That's all for now! Stay tuned, news are coming really soon!

Okay. It's September. In my last post, I said that I would launch the crowdfunding campaing before summer ended. And there's only 20 days left for that.

I'll totally try to make it before September ends, but if I'm not able to and I have to wait 'till October, let's just not get mad about it, should we? I mean, I've been living with virtually no incomes since Novemeber (when I said bye to my former boss), I'm sure you will do fine if you have to wait a month or two!

Jokes aside, I've been really busy working on -everything. Graphics. Code. Music. Design. Concept Art. PR. All you could imagine. There's nothing new about this for me: I know that making games is no easy task and that things  seldom go as planned.

But if you never give up, and you're willing to sacrifice almost all you have, and start from scratch when needed, then, as Kipling said, "yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, and -which is more- you'll be a Man, my son!"

I've little left to sacrifice for this dream of making and publishing my own game, the game I want to create. And I'm starting to feel that it's possible. That I can live the dream.

But you want news, don't you?

1st.- Kickstarter news.

For now, all I have to say is that I'm doing my best to launch it in this month of September beginning today. I might have to cut out the demo for debugging issues (I need to debug the game on many different OS's and I don't have the time. Plus, there's a lot of small bugs and unfinished things that would go unnoticed on a Kickstarter pitch video, but that would take me looong to fix in order to achieve a playable state!)

So... be patient. Please, understand!

2nd.- Here are some animations

I noticed that the animations in that "What's Spirit Huntress" post were slightly outdated. I've made a lot of improvement on Hibari's sprites and animations since them. Particularly, I tried making her anatomy more realistic -less boob bounce- and generally, add more key frames and less inbetweening.

Check them out, but don't mind the background images, since they're taken from an unfinished level.

There are much more animations to come. Special attacks, Kick-combos, spiritual powers (namely a technique called the "Soul Purge")... You'll see much more in the Kickstarter pitch video really soon.

3rd.- Any screenshots?

Sure, why not? I've posted some of these on twitter recently, but there you have them anyway!

The first one (Hibari running on some rooftops) is from Istoch Town, the place where the game begins (you'll be hunting your first angry spirit really soon this time!). And hopefully, you'll be able to play that segment of the game if I can complete the demo.

The second one is from the Plains (temptative name), a transition level that connects the Desert area (Sarkans Canyon, formerly known as the Red Desert).

The third one is from the base of the "Cracked Skulls", which also happens to be Al's house. It's kind of a central point in the game and you'll have to go there a lot. Until certain event happens, that is...

And the final one is, again, from Istoch town. There's already a secret in that screen which isn't to difficult to spot...

I hope you liked them. I'm pretty fond of how they are coming out. 

Just keep in mind that they're still a work in progress and that many things in them need -and will- be changed!

4th.- More music

This time, I'd like to share with you two themes from the game's Original Soundtrack.

The first one, "Surrounded by drippling leaves", was uploaded some weeks ago on my Soundcloud account. So, if you've visited this blog or my account on SC, you'll probably have listened to it already.

It's intended for a Forest Area where rain it's almost always raining: the Ada Forest.

(I'd recommend watching this gif while you listen to the track)

Then  there's this other theme, one I think you'd like best. Let me say beforehand that it's (as usual) a work in progress. Particularlly, this track isn't even halfway done yet. But I love how it's coming out.

It's called "The Circle of Death" and once finished, will play when you face certain kind of enemies. Like the one in the picture below:

I hope you liked them!

5th.- Merchandise? What's this?!

If you're familiar with Kickstarter campaigns concerning indie games, you'll have probably notice how the developers try to add some sauce to their attemps by giving the backers the chance to adquire all kinds of merchandise.

It has become a sort of costum, and honestly, I'd like to produce some merchandise of Spirit Huntress.

What kind of merchandise? I haven't decided all the details yet, but the most important, the 3d-printed figurine, is on its way since last month!

Exactly, you'll be able to have (if you're willing to expend your money like that) a fabulous 3d-printed figurine of Hibari, sculpted by the very talented 3d artist Leti Moreno (@erakkia on  twitter).

So far, the 3d model is almost completed. I'll be good and let you look at some WIP snapshots of the model, as well as a photoshop painted preview!

I'm really excited about this! To think I'm close  to have my original character turned into actual merchandise... 

I just hope that someone is actually interested in getting it (other than the people who have "kindly" asked for one as a gift, lol).

6th.- XBox One

Exactly! Two weeks ago, Yoyo Games announced a partnership with Microsoft in order to develope a exporting solution for GM:Studio games to the Xbox One.

This means that, once Spirit Huntress is finished, I'll do my best to bring it to PS4, XBONE, PC, MAC, and LINUX. The WiiU is out of reach by now (which is a shame because I LOVE Nintendo).

That would be all for now, folks. Don't get too far from here, since the Kickstarter campaing is really close (this time, for real, I hope) and I'll be needing all of your support.

Thanks for reading this and have a nice day!

Hello again, my dear readers! My last post was back on novemeber (when I announced I had quitted my job so I could work full-time on this project), and since the Kickstarter campaign is around the corner, I'd like to post here one last time before that happens. I have some important announcements to make, so here we go!

1st.- The Kickstarter campaign status.

After five months of working really hard on this game from morning to night, and making the legal preparations, I'm really close to have enough material to show on a Kickstarter campaign. I had the chance to learn that, if you're trying to raise funds for your game using a crowdfunding method, and you haven't previous experience in the video-game industry, the only way to gain your backer's trust is showing a project in an advanced stage, with impressive visuals and engaging music.

My aim is even highger: I'll try to provide a demo with around 20 minutes of close-to-definitive gameplay.

And I can finally say that I'm really close to get to that milestone! Instead of going with the main game, I focused on this introductory game-play section during these past months.

So, without a dubt, the next post here will officially announce the launch date of the Kickstarter campaign. Maybe within a month. Or two. But always before summer comes, that's for sure. Stay tunned!

2nd.- Important changes.

Putting the Kickstarter issue aside , there are some important changes I'd like to point out.-

A) The game's native resolution has changed from 1280x800 pixels (quite a weird resolution) to a Full HD standard, 1920x1080 pixels. I decided this so the game would look even better on full HD screens. To this day, I'm pretty sure this is the most common screen resolution, and working with native 1080p is allowing me to make more impressive backgrounds and assets. Also, given that the character's sprite is pretty big, having a wider and taller screen allows the player to see more of the room/level he's in.

The downside of it is obvious: what will happen to those using smaller resolutions?

Since I can't waste time making low-quality sprites and assets, I'll have to resize the screen to the selected resolution. I know that's a waste of memory, and of course the overall image quality will suffer.

Once I've completed the level-development stage, I'll try to find a quick way to replace the original sprites with low-resolution copies. I'll tell you more about this in the upcoming months.

Fortunately, the full HD standard resolution is quite popular, and is nowhere close to the higher resolution that PC gamers usually have.

And honestly, the game looks way better like  this:

This one is from a cutscene where Hibari and friends go to "claim" their reward for hunting some monster...

B) I successfully ported the game to Game Maker: Studio, after adquiring the pro license. Not much else to say about this, but thanks to GM:S the game's performance will improve, the game will arrive to IOS, GNU/Linux and Android devices, and, last but not least....

C) Playstation 4! Even if it wasn't officially announced until this very week that Sony is working alongside YoYo Games to create a solution to port GM:S games to Playstation, it was pretty obvious that Sony wouldn't let go such a huge portion of independent developers.

So, if nothing goes wrong, Spirit Huntress will make its way to Play Station 4 systems! And man, couldn't I be happier about it.

3rd.- Show us something!

I would love to show you guys everything I'm working on right now. Every sprite, every level design, every background picture, all of it! But I just can't,  I have to save something for the Kickstarter campaign (let alone the final game).

But I can't just leave without showing at least something. However, those of you who follow me on twitter might have already seen these images (that's what they get for following me! mwahaha!)

These two screens are from the very beginning of the introduction cutscene. Yeah, corpses being eaten by crows. Classy.

 And this one is -again- from another cutscene that would trigger later You can expect it to be fully animated.

And finally, I've noticed it's been a long since I uploaded some original music here... so, let me introduce you a WIP version of another theme from the O.S.T. This one is not for a cutscene, but for some playable segments, usually after defeating a mini-boss and obtaining a new item/weapon/skill. When that happens, the player is usually  fond of his progression, and looking forward to learn some new gameplay mechanics! It's then when he likes to hear an optimistic, yet alive theme, that encourages him to keep playing, and makes him wonder what will come next (hence the name, "Your Path Is Open Now").

Maybe that's too much of an ambitious goal for a composer of my level, but you can't say I didn't try.

Enjoy it, and please, notice it's still a work in progress. However, I'd really appreciate your opinions!

And that's pretty much it.

I'll keep working on this really hard. Just wait a few weeks, and hopefully I'll be posting here the link to the Kickstarte campaign, probably including a playable demo!

Stay tunned, and if you want additional information and early screenshots, you can follow me on twitter at @itoaragon.

Thanks for reading me and for supporting Spirit Huntress.

See you soon!


What is Spirit Huntress? Those of you who have been following me for these last past years already know what it is. So maybe this update may look a little reiterative, because here I'll be showing some basic information about the game, instead of a lot of actual news. It's pretty obvious that the reason to make this introductory post is that I'm trying to promote the game; that's why I won't show you much new content today.

¿Qué es Spirit Huntress? Aquellos que me lleváis siguiendo desde hace años sabéis perfectamente lo que es, por lo que puede que esta entrada os resulte un poco superflua. De hecho, publicar esta entrada responde más a una necesidad de ofrecer información básica actualizada, que de mostrar cosas nuevas del proyecto. Me veo en la necesidad de hacerla por el mayor alcance que intentaré darle al juego en breve, con una finalidad que también os explicaré.

Spirit Huntress is a 2d action/adventure & platform game, with side-scroller view in development. Once it's finished, it will be released on PC, Mac, Linux, and maybe on consoles (PS4, Xbox One, WiiU, Ouya) if a Game Maker Studio exporter is ever released. This game will include English and Spanish languages.

Spirit Huntress es un juego de plataformas, acción, y aventura en 2d, con vista lateral, que una vez terminado se publicará en PC, Mac, y Linux, y si con el tiempo fuera posible hacer ports de juegos desarollados en Game Maker Studio, también en consolas (PS4, Xbox One, WiiU, Ouya). El juego se publicará con dos idiomas, en principio: Español e Inglés.

Let me explain you a little more about this project.

Dejadme que os explique un poco más a fondo en qué consiste este proyecto.

In Spirit Huntress, you control Hibari, a female character with a wide range of abilities and special movements, in a non-linear 2d world.

Spirit Huntress te da el control sobre Hibari, un personaje con multitud de habilidades, movimientos, y equipo, en un mundo 2d no lineal.

As an aventure game, you'll have the chance to explore many levels with very different setting (desert, woods, ghost city, caves, mountains, rivers, modern cities, etc) as you progress throught the story.

Como juego de aventuras, tendrás la oportunidad de explorar un buen número de escenarios con ambientaciones muy diversas (desierto, bosque, ciudad fantasma, cavernas, montaña, río, una urbe moderna, etc.), en los cuales se irá desarrollando la historia a la par que el personaje evoluciona.

As an action game, those levels will often be packed with enemies and hostiles to create different kinds of challenges (regular battle, mini-boss battle, final bosses). In these encounters you'll gradually discover all the abilities that Hibari possesses, learning to control her in a real time, dynamic and smooth battle system.

Como juego de acción, tales escenarios estarán a menudo poblados por entes hostiles que supondrán desafíos de diferentes entidades (enemigos comunes, mini jefes, jefes), contra los cuales el jugador tiene la posibilidad de explotar las habilidades de Hibari en un sistema de combate dinámico, en tiempo real, fluído, y cuidado.

And finally, as a platformer game, you will find pits to jump over, ropes to climb, platforms you'll have to carefully land on, and many other obstacles that make level exploration harder, and more rewarding.

Y finalmente, como juego de plataformas, a menudo encontrarás abismos que salvar, cuerdas  que trepar, plataformas a las que llegar de un salto arriesgado, y multitud de obstáculos pensados para hacer la exploración más divertida y desafiante.

None of these three game elements (adventure, action or platforms) is more important than the others: Spirit Huntress tries to find the sweetspot between frantic combats, meticulous exploration, and milimetrically calculated leaps.

Ninguno de estos tres componentes jugables se superpone a los demás: Spirit Huntress intenta buscar el equilibrio entre combates frenéticos, exploración minuciosa, y saltos calculados milimétricamente.

I'll be talking more on gameplay and Hibari moveset in future posts.

En próximas entradas me extenderé sobre la jugabilidad del proyecto, haciendo hincapié sobre todo en los movimientos y habilidades disponibles para Hibari.

The gameplay comes along with a deep, dramatic story (with comedy bits), almost totally told through Hibari's viewpoint.

Todo el entramado jugable se encauza a través de una historia profunda, de corte dramático, pero con bastantes toques cómicos. Esta se narra casi exclusivamente desde el punto de vista de Hibari, ante cuyos ojos transcurren escenas y conversaciones con los distintos personajes.

Spirit Huntress takes place in a fictional futuristic world with assorted locations and populated by human, animals, beasts and spirits.

Spirit Huntress transcurre en un mundo ficticio de fantasía futurista, compuesto por localizaciones muy dispares, y poblado por humanos, animales, bestias, y espíritus.

These souls aren't but the vital energy that leaves someone's body when they die. They are pacific beings whose only duty is to journey towards their final destination (which won't be revealed at this moment). They are imperceptible for everyone, except certain people with a very rare gift.

Estos últimos no son si no la energía vital que abandona el cuerpo de alguien que ha pasado a mejor vida. Son entidades pacíficas que se dedican a peregrinar hasta su destino final (que no será revelado aquí), y son imperceptibles para todos, excepto para determinadas personas (como Hibari).

However, if something gets on their way, keeping them from completing their pilgrimage, the spiri will turn aggressive, and will posses dead or live bodies, mutating them into terrible beasts craving for destruction. But the worst part about these beast is that they are immune to any sort of physical attack: ain't no bullet, hit or explosion that could harm them, for their essence (the spirit) is physically intangible.

Sin embargo, si algo impide que un espíritu complete su peregrinación, se volverá violento, manifestándose, poseyendo cuerpos con o sin vida que transforma en terribles bestias que ansían destruirlo todo. Pero la peor característica de estas abominaciones es que son totalmente invulnerables al daño físico: no hay bala, golpe o explosión que les afecte, pues su esencia -el espíritu- es físicamente intangible.

At this point, I proceed to talk you about some of the main characters in Spirit Huntress.

A continuación me centraré en explicar un poco sobre algunos personajes importantes en la historia de Spirit Hutnress.

Hibari: Main character. 25 years old female, with a cold personality. She's a little mistrustful, but she's also caring and motherly with those she loves. She's really talented in combat, but her most valuable gift isn't offensive, but perceptive: she's able to sense, see and hear the wandering spirits. This rare sixth sense that only a few women in the world share (those called "the spirit huntresses") is often a genetic inheritance. However, Hibari wonders if this is her case, since she didn't get to know her parents and their only legacy consists of a misterious dagger (wakizashi). She was raised in a quiet  mountan village, along with other girls who shared her paranormal abilities, all under the care of Noa, the Elder woman from the Mountain Temple. Hibari learned from her all about fighting, spirits, and the mystic arts of "soul purging". Later, when she turned 18, Hibari left the temple alongside her sidekick, Lei.
Protagonista. Mujer de 25 años, de carácter sereno, frío y desconfiado, pero al mismo tiempo protector y maternal. Cuenta con unas excepcionales aptitudes para el combate. Sin embargo, su habilidad más valiosa no es ofensiva, si no perceptiva: tiene el poder de sentir, ver y oír a los espíritus que vagan por el mundo. Este excepcional sexto sentido del que sólo gozan algunas mujeres en el mundo (las llamadas "cazadoras de espíritus") es a menudo una herencia genética. Pero Hibari ignora si es su caso, pues nunca llegó a conocer a sus progenitores, siendo el único legado que le han dejado la misteriosa daga -wakizashi- que siempre lleva. Desde muy pequeña, vivía en una recóndita aldea de montaña junto con otras chicas con las que compartía habilidades paranormales, todas ellas al cuidado de la anciana del templo de la montaña, Noa. De ella, Hibari aprendió todo lo que sabe sobre el combate, sobre los espíritus, y sobre el místico arte de la "purificación espiritual", hasta que al cumplir los 18 abandonó el templo junto a su compañera, Lei.

Dot (unidad A-00): A tiny flying droid which escorts Hibari in every mission. Assembled by Garren, the engineer from Al's mercenary group, it's equiped with several handy functions for Hibari: items and equipment management,  activity log, maps, comunicator, audio-visual player, flashlight, medical kit... Plus, he was designed to analyze Electro-Magnetic fields in search of spiritual energy traces. Sometimes, this detector actually works. Dot was programmed to be obedient and servile.

Un pequeño androide que acompaña a Hibari en todas sus misiones. Construído por Garren, el ingeniero del grupo mercenario de Al, cuenta con varias funciones que resultan muy útiles para la exploración: gestión y almacenamiento de inventario, registro de actividades, sistema de mapas, comunicador, reproductor audiovisual, linterna, botiquín... Además, fue programado para analizar campos electromagnéticos, en un burdo intento de emular las capacidades de Hibari por parte de Garren. Lo curioso es que muchas veces funciona. Tiene un carácter -obviamente, programado- servil y obediente.

Al: 45 years old man, a little cad, and often rude, but always joking. He was a soldier for many years, but after certain incident he decided to set up his own mercenary group: the "Cracked Skulls". Initially, the group consisted of Al (the boss), Garren (the engineer) and Sash (heavy artillery). Then, Hibari and Lei joined, for the group needed someone to deal with spirits and the beasts that they possessed. Al is really fond of his group, to the extent he actually ordered custom uniforms and armors for the entire group. However he's the only one wearing this strange outift, what constantly causes arguments in the team. One more thing about the "Cracked Skulls": they do not operate like any other mercenary squad, being hired  to solve a specific problem. Instead, they travel searching for conflicts, sticking the nose into other people bussines, "solving" the issue, and then they would address to whoever they apparently helped, asking for reward...

Hombre de 45 años, de carácter canalla y muy rudo, pero siempre bromista. Durante muchos años fue soldado, pero tras cierto evento fundó su propio grupo de mercenarios, los "Calaveras Agrietadas". Dicho grupo se componía inicialmente de Al (el jefe), Garren (el ingeniero) y Sash (la artillera), uniéndose posteriormente Hibari y Lei como cazadoras de espíritus. La idea de tener su propio grupo entusiasma a Al, hasta el punto de que encargó unas armaduras con el emblema del clan para todos los miembros. Desafortunadamente, parece que él es el único que finalmente se la pone, lo cual es un recurrente motivo de discusión entre Al y Sash. Como último dato sobre los "Calaveras Agrietadas", diremos que actúan de manera un poco peculiar: en vez de ser contratados para una misión específica, se dedican a viajar y a meter las narices en problemas, para después dirigirse a quien hayan ayudado exigiéndole una recompensa...

Lei: A vivacious 19 years old girl. She's happy, carefree, rebellious and a bit childish. Companion to Hibari, she's one of her only friends since they knew each other back in the Mountain Temple, where both were raised. She really admires Hibari's strenght and courage. Even her looks. When Hibari left the Temple because she finished her formation as a Spirit Huntress, Lei left too. She was only 12 years old back then, and she was only halfway through her formation, but decided to leave anyway. Not that she was specially gifted when coming to paranormal abilities... but the elder Noa just raised her to be a warrior like the other girls under her care. Lei's naiveness often gets her in trouble during missions. Luckily, Hibari is always there, looking after her, and helping Lei anytime she needs it.
Chica de 19 años, con una personalidad alegre, desenfadada, revoltosa y un poco infantil. Compañera de Hibari en el templo donde ambas se formaban como "Cazadoras de Espíritus", tiene una amistad muy fuerte con nuestra protagonista, por la que además siente una enorme admiración. Cuando Hibari abandonó el templo de las montañas por haber concluido su formación, Lei, que sólo tenía 12 años y estaba a medio camino, decidió dejar también el templo, aún suponiendo que nunca se convertiría en cazadora de espíritus. En realidad, no es que tuviera demasiadas habilidades paranormales... simplemente la anciana cuidaba de ella integrándola entre sus alumnas. A menudo se mete en problemas durante las misiones... aunque afortunadamente, Hibari siempre está vigilándola.

Sash: 30 years old. Rough and somewhat rude. She's constantly swearing and taunting the others, specially Al, whom she holds dear nonetheless. That aside, she doesn't talk too much, but when she does, chaos reigns. Rebel and insurgent by nature, she drives Al crazy -since he's the boss-. She's the heavy artillery of the "Cracked Skulls" team, being large caliber weapons and explosives her favourite thing. She first met Al when they both were soldiers. But after some issue that got them reprimanded and expelled from the army, she blamed Al for everything. Thus, she made him responsible for finding her a new job. From that day on, she follows Al in his missions, resulting in a very helpful team mate. Specially when things require a little more brute force. She gets along with the other girls in the squad without a problem. She even is protective to Lei and Hibari whenever Al "harasses" them.
Mujer de 30 años, de actitud tosca y un poco maleducada. Profiere constantemente insultos, especialmente contra Al, a quien a pesar de todo le tiene cierto cariño. Por lo demás no habla demasiado, pero cuando lo hace suele provocar el caos. Es una insurrecta por naturaleza, lo cual fastidia -y mucho- a Al, pues es el lider del grupo. Desempeña un papel de artillera dentro de los "Calaveras Agrietadas", y su mayor pasión son las armas de fuego de gran calibre y los explosivos. Conocíó a Al cuando ambos eran soldados, y tras un incidente en el que ambos fueron expedientados -y expulsados del ejército-, echó la culpa de todo a Al y lo responsabilizó de encontrarle nuevos trabajos. Desde entonces trabaja con él, resultando una compañera de equipo imprescindible, sobre todo en situaciones en las que hace falta un poco más de fuerza bruta de lo habitual. No suele pelearse con el resto de las chicas del grupo. Incluso es protectora con Lei y Hibari cuando Al "se pasa de listo".

Garren: 32 years old man. He's shy, helpfull and a little clumsy if you put him out of his lab. He's the engineer, mechanic and scientific of the team. He can create any kind of gadget and fire weapon, and he can repair almost any sort of vehicle. His main occupation is fixing the only conveyance of the group so far: Al's chopper. He's also busy fixing every weapon Sash spoils. He created and assembled Dot, the flying droid that follows Hibari, so she could have a way to contact the group when she was on a solo mission. He also equipped dot with several utilities (lantern, map navigator, etc). He tried to put in Dot an Electro Magnetical Field detector that could help her to detect spiritual energy, but Hibari's intuition has proved to be more accurate. Garen is also the only member of the team that can't get away by himself in battle, what causes him a little complex. He's also really afraid of Sash, specially when she's angry.
Hombre de 32 años, tímido, servicial y bastante patoso si lo sacas de su laboratorio. Es el ingeniero del grupo de Al, y está capacitado para reparar casi cualquier tipo de vehículo o máquina. Su ocupación principal es reparar las armas que Sash constantemente revienta, y encargarse del mantenimiento del -por ahora- único medio de transporte del equipo, el Helicóptero de Al. Construyó a Dot, el robot que acompaña a Hibari, para que esta tuviera un modo de comunicarse con el grupo en sus misiones en solitario, sirviéndole a la par de asistente. Intentó incluir en él un detector de energía espiritual (que analizaba campos electromagnéticos) pero este ha probado ser menos eficaz que las premoniciones de Hibari. Es bastante reservado, y es el único miembro del grupo que no es capaz de defenderse por sí mismo, lo que le tiene en cierta medida acomplejado. Tiene auténtico pánico a Sash, a quien no se atreve a hablarle cuando está cabreada.


I'll cover more information about other importatn characters in future posts. Let's now focus on the game graphics.

En futuras entradas publicaré información sobre otros personajes relevantes, secundarios, NPC's, etc. Ahora nos centraremos en los gráficos del juego.

Spirit Huntress graphics are made 100 % by me, following digital drawing techniques, on Adobe Photoshop CS3 (my favourite). I often work my designs from a previos sketch I draw on paper.

Los gráficos de Spirit Huntress son elaborados al 100 % por mi, siguiendo técnicas de dibujo digital en Adobe Photohsop CS3, trabajando a menudo con bocetos realizados en papel.

All the sprites are drawn frame-by-frame, in one piece, using photoshop layers to ease the process. Then, I split the sprite as many times as I need, to draw separately in the game every custimizable pieces (Hibari's hair, weapons and ribbons) or those pieces that require it for optimization purposes. Then, I export everything to Game Maker Studio.

Los sprites del juego se dibujan frame a frame de una sola pieza, utilizando las capas de Photoshop para facilitar un poco el trabajo. Luego, se separan los elementos que sean personalizables (pelo y arma  de Hibari, entre otras cosas) o aquellos que deban ser dibujados separadamente por cuestiones de optimización,  y de este modo son exportados a Game Maker Studio.

The visuals are somewhat like an animated movie, mixing characters and objects remarked with black outlines, and detailed backgrounds drawn one-by-one (but using assets), so there aren't two identical levels in the entire game.

La estética del juego es similar a una película de animación, combinando personajes y objetos dibujados con bordes negros, y escenarios de fondo detallados y realizados uno por uno desde cero (con la ayuda de "assets"), de manera que no existan dos escenarios iguales en el juego.

Besides, thanks to the Game Maker Studio features, I garnish my art with rendered graphic effects, such as particles (fire, smoke, liquid, spray) or shaders (local light, volumetric lighting, night-day ambience, darkness, etc).

Además, gracias a las características de Game Maker, intento complementar mi arte con efectos renderizados, como pueden ser partículas (para fuego, humo, fluídos, sprays, y mucho más) o shaders (para mostrar la luz local de antorchas o focos, efectos de luz volumétrica, cambio día-noche, oscuridad, etc).

Volumetric light example

Local light example
The story is carried also by non-playable cutscenes that may come into two forms: as pre-generated animated movies (for the most important sequences), or as in-game sequences made with the game engine, featuring sprites and animations done for the occasion.

Las escenas no jugables que transcurren en Spirit Huntress, que sirven para guiar la historia, pueden mostrarse de dos modos: mediante secuencias animadas pre-generadas (para las ocasiones más importantes), o bien mediante escenas hechas con el motor del juego, en la que los sprites mostrarán animaciones inéditas hechas especialmente para la secuencia.

The game's music is also being composed by myself. I do not discard getting help on this from any professional musician, but first I'll try to do it all without help. You have some samples on the Sound Cloud player placed to the right of this post, but I warn you: these are old and have to be revamped. I got a lot better in this since I posted them.

La música del juego está siendo compuesta también por mí. No descarto conseguir ayuda de compositores profesionales si me resultara posible, pero en principio intentaré componer la OST del juego completamente sin ayuda. Tenéis algunos ejemplos en el reproductor de la derecha, si bien son antiguos, y desde que los hice creo haber mejorado bastante.

I'll poste more samples soon, but I don't want to reveal much of the game music before the game is finished.

La próxima entrada incluirá nuevos temas, aunque no desvelaré demasiados antes de publicar el juego.

The game will feature quality voice acting performed by both professionals and amateur actors, but no matter their previous professional experience, they are all very tallented and skilled for voice acting. I plan to have voice acting for every conversation in the game (and there are a lot of conversations!), except maybe those irrelevant (tutorials, explanations, tips, etc). There will be English and Spanish voice acting, of course.

El juego incluirá doblaje -de excelente calidad- realizado por profesionales y amateurs de este mundillo, que indiferentemente de su experiencia profesional, poseen un increíble talento para esto. La idea inicial es que todas las conversaciones del juego (que son muchas) salvo aquellas irrelevantes (mensajes de ayuda, tutoriales, explicaciones varias, etc) estén dobladas, tanto en español como en inglés.

This means I need tens of voice actors, which I'm hiring gradually. So far, I'm really pleased with the incredible people working on this: Laura (Spanish Hibari), Salva (Spanish Dot), Sydney (English Hibari) and Alvin (English Al).

Ello conlleva que necesite la ayuda de decenas de actores a los que estoy contratando gradualmente. Por el momento, estoy muy contento con las personas que se han prestado a colaborar: Laura (Hibari ESP), Salva (Dot ESP), Sydney (Hibari ENG) y Alvin (Al ENG).

If you are a voice actor/actress and are looking for a remunerated gig, you can contact me on twitter (@itoaragon), skype (itoaragon) or gmail (itoaragonATgmailDOTcom).

Si alguien se dedica a esto y está interesado en un trabajo remunerado, puede ponerse en contacto conmigo para realizar pruebas. Estoy disponible en twitter (@itoaragon) skype (itoaragon) o gmail (itoaragonARROBAgmailPUNTOcom).

Spirit Huntress is a project influenced by some past great titles, like Metroid saga, Streets of Rage II, Shinobi III; as well as more recent games like Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Spirit Huntress es un projecto sin duda alguna inspirado por algunas joyas del pasado, como la saga Metroid en general, Streets of Rage II, Shinobi III; así como por otras obras más recientes, como Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Streets of Rage II (GENESIS)

Super Metroid (SNES)

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (WII)
I must not forget about another important source of inspiration, the splendid "An Untitled Story" by Matt Thorson. I encourage you to play it if you haven't already. Download it at: Do not be fooled by it's chlidish-looking graphics!

Tampoco debo olvidar una fuente de inspiración "indie", concretamente, el genial "An Untitled Story" de Matt Thorson. Os recomiendo jugarlo descargándolo de aquí ¡Que no os engañe su aspecto gráfico infantil!

An Untitled Story, by Matt Thorson

I started working on Spirit Huntress back in 2005, when I used Rpg Maker.

Los que me conocen de mi etapa en RPG MAKER, sabrán que llevo desde 2006 con este proyecto (aunque lo empecé en 2005). 

Old Spirit Huntress version screenshot (developed on Rpg Maker XP) from 2006

However, the game entered the production stage scarcely two years ago, when I started to code it on Game Maker, scrapping all the previous work. Needles to say that my skills as programmer, artist and music composer have improved since 2005, when I was only 16 years old.

Sin embargo, el juego está en fase de producción desde hace aproximadamente dos años, cuando lo traspasé a Game Maker, desechando todo el trabajo anterior.

After these two last years, the main character's code is 90 % completed, her animations being at 50 %. The levels, enemies, bosses and cutscenes are somewhere between 5-10%, and the music is around 20 % (there are 15 themes, most of them in need of a good upgrade!).

Tras estos dos años, la programación del personaje principal está completada en un 90 %, y sus animaciones, al 50 %. Los niveles, enemigos, jefes y escenas están actualmente al  5% -10%, y la música está al 20 % aproximadamente, con más de 15 temas compuestos (de los cuales he de revisar muchos).

I made very little progress in these past two years, because I've been working full time since I finished my studies. My job left little to no free time to spend on the game.

Tan poco progreso en dos años se debe, como sabréis algunos, a que he estado trabajando a tiempo completo (demasiado completo) desde que terminé mis estudios, lo cual me ha dejado muy poco tiempo libre que poder dedicarle a Spirit Huntress.

So, I decided to fix that: I quitted my job to finish Spirit Huntress. It sure was a hard decision to make, but the game's worth it. So long, spanish laws and contracts!

Sin embargo, esta situación ya ha cambiado, y lo hará aún más en Enero, pues he decicido dejar el trabajo y dedicarme al 100 %  a este proyecto. Se trata de una decisión muy arriesgada, que me ha tenido trastornada la cabeza todo el verano hasta que en Septiembre, finalmente, le eché valor, y comuniqué mi marcha en el despacho donde trabajo.

The bad news are pretty obvious: in order to finish the game I need one or two years of my full time, during which I'll need a financial support I lack. So, to finish this game in a decent time period, without having to slow it down because I'm working part time on any mall or restaurant, I'm going to launch a Kickstarter campaing, very soon I hope.  

Aunque ya he echado a andar y he cerrado la puerta detrás mía, que pueda llevar a cabo este proyecto requiere un sustento económico del que carezco. Y es por ello que para intentar salir adelante sin tener que buscar un trabajo parcial (pudiendo entonces dedicarme full-time al proyecto), voy a lanzar una campaña de crowdfunding en Kickstarter.

And that was the introduction to Spirit Huntress. I hope that I got to explain everything clearly. Sorry if I didn't show too many screenshots. Also there are no videos today. If you haven't already, you can watch some of my old videos on my youtube channel:

Y aquí concluye la presentación del proyecto. Lamento que no haya demasiadas imágenes nuevas, pero es que no quiero mostrar todo lo que voy haciendo. A partir de ahora, continuaré actualizando con mayor frecuencia, pues mi horario me lo permite. En la próxima entrada, me explayaré sobre la dinámica de combates del juego, vídeo incluido.

Thanks for your time, and stay tuned for upcoming news. Take care!

Gracias por estar ahí leyéndome. ¡Un saludo!