Towards the Future

It’s now July and would you look at it… we will be releasing SparkLine this month! Milestones after milestones are achieved, eventually culminating into the grand release. We already have one eye on the future, but rest assured that we are completely focused on bringing the game to you on time.

We will take a look on what we have done up until now, before looking forward – towards the future.


Songs, Other Content, Etc

Hi-Fi Story Gameplay Showcase

I was supposed to reveal some songs last week but an injury to my left index finger made it hard to do so. My apologies… We’ll do it this week, I suppose. As you can see above, there’s Hi-Fi Story from D-D-Dice!

I was pleasantly surprised when the showcase tweet blew up on Twitter, despite us awkwardly the wrong person (sorry Dice…). It’s heartening when you see your efforts validated, but as usual, we promise not to get carried away.

The Other Teased Song

This was the teaser we posted on Twitter. The first one is Hi-Fi Story, the second one is an original song! I thought it was a really fascinating song as its quite strong in the fantasy genre and not really an “otogecore”. It’s one of those songs that really grows on you the more you listen to it.

The composer wasn’t in any rhythm games that I know of until he got his song into Muse Dash from winning Perolist. I am always always proud and glad whenever the composers we are working getting into other games! But anyway please look forward to it!

In regards to other stuff – story is complete along with its translations and we hope to complete its implementation by this week. The unlockables, including icons, titles and characters are also finalized at this point. We still have to expand our unlock system beyond unlocking by just map progress, though. That should be the last technical hurdle to face aside from bugfixing (esp. cloud stuff). On the plus side, it shouldn’t take that long as it’s an expansion of an existing system.

To look towards the future – We are preparing content for a year’s worth of production and we are only 2 original songs away from finalizing our songlist up to our first Main Story DLC, scheduled for release within 6-7 months from launch. Both songs are in progress and like every song we have, I am excited to see what they come up with!

Info Append (2023/07/08)

The second teased song is uynet’s Flozen Dahlia! How many of you thought of him based on the description provided before? It’s quite different from his usual works, and it’s really fascinating for me to learn of the song as I charted it.

Completing Cloud Functions

We finally got this done – the UX becomes slightly different but I think is clearer overall. Obviously this is amongst the more “nitty-gritty” things, but it’s a huge milestone achieved!

This even includes Cloud Save, which was not considered for launch. We are currently ironing out these features, in which we hope to get it as stable as possible by this week.

Fun fact: They make up for more than half of the game’s UI. Most of you will probably see the register, login, logout and perhaps the delete account UI. It’s the edge cases where you play in multiple devices where things get murky. If you are playing on two devices, which save data should be prioritized, etc etc…

Makes it all the more tempting for me to make a Steam game after SparkLine… All of these will be handled by Steam instead 🙂

Also, I’d like to note that this time, your user name and display name are two different things. It always has been that way with PlayFab (the service we are using), but was “cheated” a bit during the beta, so to speak.

As I am showing you updated UI/UX, keep in mind that the UI aesthetics are still not final, but I think we can handle them by next week.

App Store Back-and-Forth

In App Store, the IAPs (In-App Purchase, essentially $$$ things), are reviewed separately to the app. The error we got was “Product Unavailable” so I assumed it was because the IAPs are not approved yet. Some further reviews and they finally clarified that the approval was not the issue.

I duly searched the Unity forums for troubleshooting and it turns out the issues are not… technical.

  • I haven’t agreed on their Paid Apps agreement at that time
  • I haven’t linked my bank account to the developer Account
  • I haven’t declared taxes etc. Although I am not from USA, I do have to fill out one form as a foreigner. It’s pretty short, though.

With those issues resolved, the internal tests from our side now able to display and “purchase” the IAPs (via a testing environment). This means we are getting closer towards the eventual approval! All the cloud stuff we did was in anticipation for issues Apple may bring up. In the end, perhaps it’s for the best that we do it now rather than later.

Info Append (2023/07/08)

Our preliminary submission to the App Store has been accepted! I would like to note again it’s not the final version of the game, but a “test the waters” submission to handle the usual Apple niggles.

This is a big, big step towards the full release. We decided that we’d release the game this month, but not the exact date yet. With this information on hand, I am confident we can get it out by 26 July! May be slightly earlier, but should not be any later than 31 July.

At this point there are only a few things remaining:

  • An expanded unlock system
  • Polishing UI/UX, charts, cutscenes, etc
  • Add a few more tutorials

We are confident that we can get everything done within 2 weeks. Just a little more to go…!

Composer Interviews?

It’s been 3 months since the interview with RekuMochi was published. I really want to make more of this, and we now have two more interviews in our drafts! With all the busy-ness we have lately, we still have to edit them first, haha… But we’ll definitely post one of them this month!

As social media (such as Twitter) usually shadowbans external links, you will be able to access the interviews from the game as well. For the interviews conducted with me DeepL’ing Japanese composers, I can provide the JP transcripts as well.

If these interviews are doing well enough, then I could consider asking our localization partner to translate the English-only interviews to Japanese

Social Media Heebus-Jeebus

TL;DR Twitter imploded last week. With Youtube and Discord also undergoing major changes, it seems we are destined for a new era of social media. It ends up being useful to host our TOS and Privacy Policy, but this website is made partially to resist such changes. Putting all eggs on a single social media basket is not a good idea.

We could start a TikTok account and perhaps bang there, but I do worry for the composers and illustrators a bit. So what’s the big thing after this? I guess we’ll find out soon if this keeps going up…

By the way, I am using Japan’s trends because Indonesian Twitter trending topics are a damn cesspool. Perhaps they are also bad in Japan, but at least I don’t understand what they mean most of the time…

Closing Words

It’s been a year since that reveal trailer is launched, isn’t it?

I felt the direction of the trailer was flawed, which was down to me. That was one of the many things we learned in just this 1 year. You might say that SparkLine took 2-3 years to develop, but for me, it was a lifetime’s work. And… cue this Eddie Nketiah Norwich quote.

I should be feeling anxious, shaking, quaking in boots as the release draws closer. Also, there are concerns too over whether we are going to make in time. But for some reasons, I am feeling… peaceful. The same zen feeling I had when I was sure of leaving my previous job to work on SparkLine.

And that’s something I can’t even explain why. If I was feeling anxious, it was during May. Perhaps because it’s clear what I need to do. First and foremost, SparkLine is my “giving back” moment to one of my favorite game genres. People have been so supportive as well – from Iris, RekuMochi, MYUKKE., ruha, etc… all the way to Metomate, with the last commissioned song of 1.0. The illustrators too, not to forget.

It’s cliche to say this, but it’s probably those support that gave me that “zen feeling”. We all need that, after all. Never one to tire from saying this, thank you so much for being with us all the way!

Back to the game’s launch – it would most likely be… rough. Simply because we are in uncharted territories first and foremost. It’s rough, it’s difficult, but these are the moments that define us! Embrace the challenge, come out even stronger.

And let me ask you, the reader of this post one thing – please be with us on that journey.