I'm writing this first blog on a deceptively sunny Saturday morning after an exhausting week of state-sanctioned violence against people who look like me. ALKAHEST is a passion project helmed by a cis queer black woman.  While core facets of my identity shouldn't explicitly fuel your enjoyment of this game, stating this upfront feeds into my overall agenda of inclusion through harmless entertainment. Y'all can quote me on that. #BLACKLIVESMATTER

Anyway! This game came to me in a fit of nostalgia for the years that I and a close friend spent penning short stories in Lore City, a grimy-gothic, pseudo monarchal modern fantasy universe of our own making. As I missed the boat on consistently creating work-in-progress devlogs for High Elo Girls, I thought it could be a fun exercise to log my process for ALKAHEST right here on the game's front page. Originally conceived of as a short exercise in developing a simple drag-and-drop alchemy brewing simulator, it's now my goal to create a denser, richer narrative experience by pouring Lore City's magic system and in-world stakes over Ren'Py's visual novel mechanics.  Please look forward to the post-launch postmortem to find out what worked well and what didn't!

DEV NOTES (pre-production)

At present, I have a top level narrative design outline (script, simulation, and choice mechanics), a few MP3s I'm considering for ambient background music and tonal changes, sound effects gathered, and terrible sketches drawn up for overall visual design direction. 

NEXT STEPS: As this is a personally funded game, I'll need to budget for a GUI artist (purchase of a standard asset pack, which tends to include a re-skinning of Ren'Py's default screen system), at least two background assets (no more than three), and logo work for both the ALKAHEST splash and title screens. 

I am privileged to remain employed during these unprecedented times (a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over), but if you are at all inspired to contribute to this project, please redirect your funds to Black Lives Matter on my behalf!

Thanks for coming along for the development ride!


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