Introducing the Devlog

Welcome to the ibbits Development Log! I have really been looking forward to getting this up and running! I plan on posting sketches, game design notes, ibbits lore, and maybe even the occasional personal anecdote. It will differ from the News & Updates section in that most of the content here will be progress snapshots rather than official announcements. It will be more casual in tone and I won’t worry about rambling…which is my favorite thing to do! I’ll at least try to break longer posts into labeled sections so you all can focus on the things you’re interested in. Though I know some of you will probably enjoy reading ten page essays on battle system design, Bita geography, and imaginary animal biology. So for you dedicated Bitians, this area is for you! I have also included a special little surprise at the end of this post so read on! ;D

The future of the site…and myself!

It is definitely true that ibbits is my personal creative outlet. My “baby” so-to-speak. At the moment I am the only one who works on it. I guess you could call me the creator of the site? I’m not really sure what my title is, haha. I’d love to pull people in for certain projects, and maybe even build a staff team like we had on Starbits Pets, but for now I guess I am it. This has its benefits and drawbacks I suppose, but the main issue is that if I’m not doing well then ibbits also suffers. If I’m having some sort of issue or am busy with life’s responsibilities then the site just kinda languishes. I honestly can’t believe that the community is still active at all considering how few updates I manage to put out. You guys are awesome! I honestly can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you all! It is very flattering but also terrifying because I feel like I am letting you down when I can’t update very often. In my early 20’s I was in a very unhealthy place. While I don’t think I ever talked about it specifically, those of you who have been around since the early days could probably tell. About three years ago I managed (with a lot of help!) to pull myself out, but I feel as though I have been playing catch-up ever since. Finally, I was able to finish school, establish healthy relationships with those that I care about, get a job that pays the bills, and live independently. I’m finally, for lack of a better word, adulting!

Even so, I still don’t have the whole career thing figured out. My current job isn’t terrible, but it isn’t really what I plan on doing for the rest of my life, y’know? As a 28-year-old, I feel a societal pressure to find my “career”. For a while I considered going to graduate school because it seemed like a logical next step. I started seriously studying for the GRE earlier this year. I realized two things while studying…One, that I had forgotten every math concept that I ever learned, and two, that I really wasn’t 100% enthused about grad school or the program that I had chosen. Graduate school would be a huge investment in time, money, and mental energy. It only made sense to go if it would lead me to a career path that I would enjoy for the rest of my working life. Everyone around me could see I wasn’t really that into it, but I had convinced myself because it was an easier answer than job-hunting or continuing on in my current position. As I watched my boyfriend working steadily towards his educational goals, I realized that I wasn’t putting forth even 10% of the passion or effort that he was. But if I don’t continue my education, what do I do?

Since high school, I have had people telling me to turn my ideas into a business of some sort. Sell your cards, sell your plushies, monetize Starbits, etc. While I have dabbled in making money off of my projects, I have never been too serious. Part of it is the realist in me. I know many struggling creatives out there. My job isn’t the best, but I do make enough money to survive. Realistically, I know that I probably won’t be one of the people who succeeds and is able to make a living off of my work. But I think my “being realistic” is just an excuse. I think what is really going on is I am worried that I will fail, that my ideas actually aren’t very good, or that it will be pointless because I won’t make any money. But perhaps it is all about setting different goals. Maybe I don’t have to make 100% of my income off of my projects. Even if I only make a little money it may be enough to scale back on my main job so that I could work on more fulfilling things. My mental health is always much better when I am utilizing my creative outlet so that in of itself is a good reason to dedicate more time to the site.

But what does all that mean for ibbits? I guess I am not completely sure yet, but so far my goal will be to work on ibbits more! Take it more seriously, I suppose? I’d like to set up a Patreon with some fun incentives in order to start generating a bit of income. Once the ball gets rolling I’d also like to promote the site more so that we can generate more users and revitalize the community. Perhaps it may one day be possible that I could leave my full-time job and work on ibbits 100% of the time, but for now I will just start with small, achievable goals. If you all have any ideas please let me know! I coded a neat little nested comments system for the Devlog so post and discuss as much as you want! Creating this Devlog was actually the first step in my plan. I am really happy to have a place to share my progress updates since, despite the lack of official updates, I have actually been working on features pretty steadily over the past couple of years. I just have this weird thing where I don’t to post about anything until it is “done” so it kind of seems like I’ve been neglecting the site more than I actually have. However, if I am going to have Patreon supporters and a true community behind me I will need to be a bit more transparent about what I am working on. I think I just liked the element of surprise when I revealed a big update that nobody knew anything about, but it is probably just as fun for you guys to see how the feature was created and my thought process along the way. It feels really cool to be able to share my thoughts with you all and I hope you will keep reading my future Devlog posts! If there is anything you would like to have me cover in a post feel free to suggest it in the comments section. I’m happy to answer questions! Now…for the finale of the post! Here is a little treat for you all. Drum roll, please…!




Sketch and base layer for the baby Kakin’eko!

Yay! Maybe it isn’t that exciting, but it is an image I have been struggling with for years at this point so I am thrilled to share it. I have done countless sketches for the newborn Kakin’eko, but none of them worked. Either they looked too grown-up already or just looked weird because drawing newborn animals is something I don’t have a ton of experience with. I also couldn’t just copy a kitten because of the legs. This is because unlike actual cats, Kakin’eko are plantigrade. This means that unlike their real-world inspiration and other anthro-feline type characters they walk flat on their feet like humans or bears rather than on their toes like cats, dogs, and many other types of fast running, four-legged animals. The reason for this is the lifestyle of Kakin’eko. According to the lore, Kakin’eko cover huge distances every day. The Kakin’eko living in the traditional way have a lifestyle that is similar to early hunter-gatherer human societies. They are built for stamina rather than speed and practice persistence hunting. This involves tracking and pursuing their prey until it is exhausted. This plantigrade stance can make them both easier and harder to draw, and in the case of the newborn it was just looking weird. All my previous versions just ended up looking like a human baby with a cat head. Granted, that is essentially what they are but…still. This curled pose seems like a good compromise. I picked a sleeping position because I wanted to emphasize the fact that they are still helpless newborns as opposed to the more independent child version. When I tried sketching them awake they didn’t look much different than the child, which I thought would be confusing. I also like it because it reminds me of real kittens that sleep 22 hours a day! Kittens also don’t open their eyes until about a week after birth, so it seemed fitting. It will make the eye-color a surprise which is sort of fun, at least I think so. It may make people trying to get the “perfect” variation frustrated but I appreciate a bit of randomness in my games as you have probably noticed. ;D I still need to adjust the face and paws a bit but overall I think it’s a good start! Shading and creating the variations will take a while still. I am also planning on focusing on the Spirit Hunt for the next month so it may be a while until the final version is out but I wanted to give you all a sneak peek!

Speaking of…

Speaking of the Spirit Hunt, October 1st is in just a couple days! This year’s teams are pretty fun and hopefully I will finish up the thing I planned on releasing last October. I think you all will like it. Thank you for reading and as always…stay tuned! :D

posted by heidi on Sep 29, 2019, 7:21 pm 20 Comments
20 Comments
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Brennan
said 5 months ago

The baby Kakin'eko looks great so far! How often do you plan on posting in your Devlog?
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heidi
said 4 months ago in reply to Brennan

Thank you! I'm hoping to post once a week, time permitting!
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prince
said 5 months ago


super happy to hear from you again, heidi and good to see you're taking things in stride and making moves for yourself!

the robot and ghost are roommates and they both pay rent on time
Instagram: a_hunter_destroyer_machine / DeviantART: lycanrott

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Midnight
said 5 months ago


Thank you so much for this update! I am looking forward to seeing the being the scenes progress.

Also, that baby Kakin'eko is Amazing. so so cute!

I'm glad to hear you are getting to a better place in life <3

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Miyura
said 5 months ago


I don't have much to say but I read it all and I'm glad that you posted something! It just made me feel a bit better to hear from ya.
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Stasia
said 5 months ago

OMG dat baybay firestarter. Also I getchu with that career path feels.
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2braids11
said 5 months ago

"...double, double, toil and trouble..."


So excited for you, and the devlog! I love that it is more casual and detailed. "I won't worry about rambling" ha, I feel that...

The baby Kakin'eko is so cute. I am thrilled about the return of the spirit hunt!

I hope that you continue to do even better in life heidi! I am proud of you for persevering through life's mishaps.

"...fire burn and cauldron bubble..."

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Aaron
said 5 months ago

ahhhh this update made me so joyous! so happy to hear you’re doing a lil better Heidi. might I recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron? it’s a wonderful workbook that really helps you take control of your creativity!

also AWWW the baby kakis look so cute!! and also ahhhh yay potential spirit hunt 2020!!

so happy to hear from ya :] ~ agree with everyone. mighty proud of you, and mighty proud of this odd little community for still sticking together

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heidi
said 4 months ago in reply to Aaron

I have heard of that book but haven't read it. I will check it out! Thank you for the recommendation, Aaron!
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zetina
said 5 months ago

Heck yeah!!

It'll be great to see all the snippets cuz, just like you said, from our end we have no idea if you're thinking about the site or not, so getting that reassurance is nice. I'll live either way, but... Anyway! Hopefully things will work out! I really feel you on that "just avoiding failure" front -- that's my whole thing, and it just holds us back, man.

The newborn kakin.... is so cute holy shit

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Ryan
said 5 months ago

I think a devlog is a great idea for informal updates and ramblings.

I can definitely relate to a lot of what you said about your 20s! I feel like I've been in a rut myself. It's rather difficult to navigate the world and pursue a creative path when creative projects you are passionate about don't necessarily provide what you need to you live your life comfortably. It's hard to find that balance and make sacrifices to make both sides work out in terms of what you want to do and what you have to do to get by in life.
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Ryan
said 5 months ago in reply to Ryan

Just some little things I noticed:

Trying to edit my comment—given the error "You didn't create this comment so you cannot edit it."
Writing a comment—the textbox has two lines of white space in it by default
On devlog.php—comment count for this post is at 0
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heidi
said 4 months ago in reply to Ryan

I'll take a look at those glitches. I tested everything but you know how it goes. Thank you for letting me know!
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Cornucopia
said 5 months ago

I'm glad you're finally in a place where you're feeling a bit better off. I'm in a similar situation now, dealing with my mental health, trying to scrounge any amount of money together through my creative work so that I can go back to school and ultimately work for my state's conservation department. It can be really hard finding motivation, So I'm glad there's a place you can make updates and inevitably recieve that motivation from the users here who have stuck with Ibbits since the beginning. I love the art for the newborn kakineko, I think you did a great job showing it's helplessness as well as retaining the fact that it is bipedal and not just a cat. I also love the mystery of the eye color, just as it is in real life. I'm so happy you're feeling better and can't wait for more updates. <3
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Polkavata
said 4 months ago

That little floof is so dang precious! But I understand where you are coming from Heidi, its a big project for one person but it is your baby.
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heidi
said 4 months ago

I just wanted to thank everyone for your thoughtful comments on my post. It is great encouragement and also good to see that I'm not the only one dealing with these sorts of issues. This past week has been pretty rough, but I'm starting to turn the corner. I'll try to post a lot of updates for you guys! I think you will like the next Devlog post I have lined up. :]
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Midnight
said 4 months ago in reply to heidi


You have a community of people behind you, cheering you on and wishing you only the best <3
Sometimes, knowing that there are people who understand and are willing to be patient can help give you that little pep you need to pull yourself up.

225 | 64 | 39 | 2

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Aaron
said 4 months ago in reply to heidi

we luv you u heidi! genuinely though - I've always kind of weirdly thought of you as, like, an older cousin figure. this project's and the community that's rallied behind it has been a big part of my life from really a quite young age. i still have my bean sprout plushie from middle school somewhere. it came with me to college :') so for real ~ we're all super proud of you, we super feel you re: the toughness of life [virtual pets? in this economy?], and we're super grateful that you're even still continuing this project!

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Aaron
said 4 months ago in reply to Aaron

also: smol glitch i just noticed - i can't edit my comments on devlog. i get a message that says the comment doesn't belong to me o___o

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Elleonyx
said 2 months ago

This is so cool to read, and such a fun addition to the site! I'm a bit late to comment haha, but I still check back here from time to time because ever since I've found the site there's been a charm to it that's just stuck with me, and I'm always wanting to see what you'll add next! It's so inspiring seeing people's creations come to life and grow :o

The baby Kakin'eko looks adorable as well!!! Can't wait to see them on the site :D

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ibbits devlog

heidi's personal development log for the site. Includes development notes, sketches, progress images, and more!


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