First of all, do not worry, Meawja project is alive and kicking! I made this article to explain what happened, since we had a long period without news and, for now, I apologize and thank you for all your patience, support and affection. Many came to ask me if the project still lives, which made me very happy because it shows interest in our work. Therefore, for this message to be even more personal, I will be writing in my name, especially because I was the main reason for this silence.
For those who do not know, Galope is a studio composed only by me, Gabrianne "GabZ" / "GabZero", and my husband, Esdras "Xdr4z", we both have our jobs and make the games in the free time. The last update we posted about the project was on March 13, a few days later I began to feel strong pains in the right eye. Advancing a little further in the story, in April this pain evolved into a terrible inflammation in that eye, which practically blinded me for a month because I was not even able to use the left eye. So I stayed away from any work until I recovered, taking almost two months for that. After this torment, I had to do numerous exams to find the cause of this problem, which was a difficult and time-consuming task. Many exams took months to be completed, doctor visits that still had to be approved, and back and forth to the neighboring city since there are not many specialists where I live. It was quite exhausting.
Anyway, after so many expenses, so many trips, I discovered that, unfortunately, I have a rare autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. It has a chance of causing this inflammation in the eye and terrible pains in the spine, so I need to treat it for a lifetime. To this day I'm getting results from exams and I still have doctor appointments. Fortunately, it is not something so serious and the disease can be controlled, so I can continue to work normally. I have wonderful people like my husband giving me support so I can move on.
Returning to work
I was very depressed these months, as you might imagine. One reason is that Meawja was already on the final stretch of being finished. If it were not for this disease, by now the game would have been released. There was very little left. And worst of all is that all these exams, doctor appointments, trips ... where very, very expensive. Basically, all the money we had booked for the project was spent on my health. We do not regret, of course, because we had the money at least. We had.
When my eye has recovered enough, I already wanted to go back to work, because we needed to recover what we spend with some urgency. But we did not want to rush Meawja, not when I was so weak and disheartened. It turns out that while I was recovering, Xdr4s began to play with a prototype that he created himself. To cheer me up, he was asking me to do some arts for him, to create a protagonist and other stuff like a hud. Gradually we worked on the prototype, giving shape, creating an identity. And we decided that it should be a game, but a small, fast, with several limitations so that it could be completed in just a few months. We would use this game to try to recover the money we spend, which would be directed to Meawja. And it worked!
The prototype took shape and became Ravva and the Cyclops Curse! With a lovely protagonist, a simple storyline, and an identity of its own, the game was quickly assembled following firmer limitations from the NES, such as using only 3 colors per sprite, few animation frames (swear I tried), and a short adventure. I was very excited, and I am happy to say that the game is incredibly close to being ready and we intend to launch it in November. I want you to know this project of ours, done with as much affection as Meawja:
The game is part of the series Galope Minis, basically, they are mini-games that take place in fairy-tales from the same universe of Meawja. So they have no obligation to have links with other of our games, what allows us to test many ideas as crazy and unlikely as they are. In Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, you will follow the story of a small summoner owl whose dangerous mission is to destroy a terrible Cyclops and thus save his/her mother from a curse. We are very happy with the project, we hope you like it!
Continuing the Meawja project
While working on Ravva we found out that our abilities have improved greatly to the point of producing it much faster. Our tools have improved, our knowledge was wider, and of course, we have more experience. This means that now we feel more confident, to the point of wanting to fix many things in Meawja. This project is basically where we learn to create games, much of the early stages is quite amateur and we feel that now, with more experience, we can improve the game a lot.
So we decided that we will do a rework!
This does not mean that we will make the game from scratch, far from it! It means that we're going to tweak things that already look dated, like hud, the training stage, and the cave stage. Also rework the camera and redo all the hero animations. After all, it was the first thing I animated in pixel art! I'm sure I can do a lot better today. We also want to improve and add mechanics, new stages and make the game more complete and interesting. Most of it will stay the way it is, but we want to improve what it has to be improved. So we will feel much better because even with the delay, we know that we will deliver something superior to what we promised previously.
So thank you immensely to all of you, ninjas, for all your support! And I ask for a little patience so that this project, this long journey, will soon be completed. And we have much more ahead!