“The development of Sierra Ops has been a rollercoaster ride. We’re not gonna lie, it took a lot of morale and patience to get to this point, especially during 2016-2018 where we’re just waiting for majority of the writing and art assets to be completed.
To follow our updates, just visit Luna at https://twitter.com/sierralunabot“
Sierra Ops Development History
Apr 9th, 2012 – We released our first indie game, “Operation Space Defense” on Desura.
Aug 8th, 2013 – The rebuild plan, “Sierra Ops” was announced, thanks to UNGDI-Sea for joining the team, and for redesigning the original ship which pretty much inspired us to start the whole project.
September 28, 2013 – We made our first ever trailer with the help of voice actors volunteering at the time, and then submitted a Steam Concepts page.
January 10, 2014 – We moved our Steam Concepts page to Steam Greenlight to reach out further to the world, and launched an IndieGogo campaign to help fund the game.
With the help of the many voice actors giving life to our trailers and demos – friends and backers who believed in our vision, and many notable game developers giving us valuable advice, we were able to achieve all our stretch goals.
Jan 30, 2015 – Youko, the dev of “Dragon Hunting” RPGMaker MV game officially joined as the lead writer for the story. She focused on writing the script and enhanced each and every characters’ foundation. As a result of better characterization, and the removal of filler and holes in the plot, the story became a lot more enjoyable to read.
June 11, 2015 – Sekai Project became our new publisher! A new demo was released on Steam, featuring Youko’s writing and more advanced animations.
However, as things were going smoothly, our original character artist, tcwoua/Kendrick left the team.
16 Oct 2015 – Tooaya joined the team as our new character artist. She significantly improved the character sprites, and created the majority of character CGs to be featured in episodes 1-3.
January 2016 to January 2018
Team morale went up and down with some members being forced to take a break and look for full-time jobs.
It was “dev hell” at its finest.
February 3, 2018
After years worth of writing, Youko completed the entire script of Sierra Ops.
We started figuring out how to go about with the scripting and directing, and technical decisions regarding the build. However, most members of the team were busy with work throughout 2018, leading to the majority of development happening in mid-2019.
Why switch to episodic release? How do you plan to go forward after all the challenges the team has encountered so far?
Jason: We’re going with an episodic release schedule because it’s pretty much the only way we can start repaying everyone who has helped us make it this far.
As to how we plan to go forward, The main factor that snowballed our progress towards completing Episode 1 was that I started relying on the team more in July of 2019. Youko became the director, while I focused on production and management.
Despite my low budget and the inability to pay the whole team what they deserved, they were all patient enough to listen to my plans. Thanks to Youko’s direction, UNGDI-Sea’s new backgrounds, Jester revamping the whole UI, Tremingway making majority of the music ahead of time, and Glean making the remnants of the Visual Novel system work with the new sprites, we were finally able to produce complete scenes, which boosted everyone’s morale.
When do we expect Episode 2 to come out, and how many episodes will there be in total?
Jason: Realistically, it will take us 5 months minimum. It’s a lot longer than episode 1, and unexpected things may happen during development. However, major delays are nearly impossible:
- Over the last three years, Tooaya has completed a huge backlog of CGs.
- The majority of important BGs have been completed with their 3D models being readily at hand to be re-rendered whenever needed.
- I’m helping Youko set up the more advanced scenes, so she can focus on polishing timings and sequences.
- The only actual struggle going into Episode 2 is completing the remaining missing systems.
There will be four episodes in total.