お久しぶりですみんあさん。It's Been A While Everyone! by Derrick Fields

And I Have a TON of News

Derrick here! Sorry for the long bout of silence. These last couple of months have been extremely busy for not only myself but Tim and Leo. As we transition into the best season ever (that’s fall, btw), we will have a ton of cool things on the table for Onsen Master. Check out what’s to come below!

Chicago Japanese Matsuri

From Saturday, September 29th until Sunday, September 30th Leo and I will be set up at the Chicago Japanese Matsuri Festival debuting some early alpha gameplay of Onsen Master. Now, because the state of this game is still very early (pre-alpha in fact) that means that most of the mechanics are still being tested and not all of the art work is spiffy. But we would still love to hear your early impressions of its functionality and borrow a bit of your time. So please stop by!


Our First Onsen Customer!

I’d also like to introduce Tobu Torinou. The first onsen customer that will be inserted into Naka-Onsen.

Torinou-san is a former samurai, who has been coming to Naka-Onsen for a very long time; since the days of the original master. So you can imagine the impact of it’s closing would have on such a long-time patron. But after “a little bird” told them about the return of the onsen and they quickly took to the trails to see for themselves.

Note - Tobu Torinou’s name contains a bit of word play. ”Tobu (飛ぶ)” translates to fly/jump, whereas “Torinou (鳥脳)” is a mashup of of the kanji for bird (tori) and brain (nou).

New Mechanics!

NO MORE BASEMENT! After much debate, trial, and error the team and I have decided to do away with the basement section to Onsen Master. We agreed that it would take the player away from the pace of the game too often and so we’re relocating and redesigning it.

In exchange for the basement and ingredient shelf, we will be implementing a Mixing Station. Here the player will stop to combine ingredients, that they will then dump into the customer baths. We really feel that this will keep up the zany antics we intend for, while also maintaining a good overall pace to the level.

Mixing Station Concept Art by WakingOni (Derrick)

Mixing Station Concept Art by WakingOni (Derrick)

YOU CAN GRAB STUFF! Along with the changes to the basement, we are also changing how the player will interact with customers and objects during gameplay. Now players will be able to make use of the Left and Right Bumpers/Triggers to pick up ingredients or hold customers hands. This mechanic will be used to guide customers to their baths, as well as dump ingredients after mixing.

SPEAKING OF MIXING! Instead of selecting ingredients on an ingredient shelf, players will now combine ingredients together in a small mechanic added to the mixing station. We agreed that this would also add a new spin on how to play the game, as well as keep up the pace.

All of these mechanics (thanks to an immensely talented Leo) will be playable at the Chicago Japanese Matsuri Festival this weekend. So again, please stop by and let us know what you think!

That’s it!

I told you there was quite a bit to talk about this time. After this weekend, I will be sure to return to a normal update schedule and provide more news on gameplay, characters and mechanics to Onsen Master. Thanks so much for continuing to keep up with us!

Lead Designer, 3D Artist

Digital Pen Pushing: Izajima Concept Art by Derrick Fields

Concept art by Derrick Fields

Welcome to Izajima! The island in which Naka-Onsen and Mu are located. 

Izajima is a small island comprised of two main provinces-- Nagi and Nami. Each province and its inhabitants are guarded by their very own mountains, aptly named Nagiyama and Namiyama. If you look closely you will find Naka-Onsen on the left, sitting just under the peak of Nagiyama. 

Restore the Balance by Derrick Fields

Concept art by Sarah Gavagan

This week I wanted to take a second to talk about balance. One of the key elements to Onsen Master is once again bringing a balance between the humans and yokai that exist in the town. Before their disappearance, Naka Onsen was ran by Mu's sensei and it was the core to what brought harmony between the human and spirit realm. Visiting the onsen meant ridding yourself of worry or pain. It was a chance to relax and bask in the harmony with those around you-- worldly and otherworldly. When Mu's sensei vanished things began to fall in disarray. Not only was the owner to Naka Onsen missing, but something deep in its core was just... gone. Shortly after, the building began to fall apart, employees lost their will to work, and patrons started to fade away. Worst of all the humans and yokai started to become hostile with one another, getting so bad that the yokai left the human realm entirely.

What could have happened to start all of this and how is Mu going to restore it? 

Meet Mu! by Derrick Fields

Concept art by Sarah Gavagan

Mu is a clumsy, loud-mouth, yet kind-hearted individual that has been tasked with raising a dilapidated Naka Onsen. After spending some time away, he has returned to the village only to discover that their sensei (master/teacher) has gone missing. Mu must now set out restore the onsen to its former glory and continue fulfilling their sensei's mission-- heal the villagers and restore the balance between humans and yokai.

...but we have not seen yokai in many, many years.